Disclaimer: The following information is presented for consideration only. The author assumes no exclusive responsibility for the accuracy of the information (although the attempt has been made to be wholly factual). Unless expressly stated, the author does not necessarily agree with the conclusions implied by the data presented. In other words, this stuff is for you to look at and start researching yourself if it strikes a cord. Don't blame us for what you find, don't assume we mean everything we bring up for consideration, and don't take our word as a final authority. We're talking about conspiracies here; we just might lie.
Welcome to the world of Jude St. James...
(I recently used this bit of research in an article I wrote so I thought I'd share the entire block of info here)
In 710 A.D. (aprox.) the hermit Apollinario received a vision of the Blessed Virgin, naming him savior of Spain and commanding him to drive the Moors from the land. As a surety, she gave him a button from the robe of Christ. Convinced, Apollinario formed the Garduna, a sacred army to combat the Moor. One of the unique aspects of this army was the belief that they had a special commission which absolved them of all sin so long as it was committed only against non-Christians. In effect, the Moors found themselves facing an guerrilla army of Holy terrorists.
They failed and the Garduna slowly degenerated into a criminal network, one that still held to the refusal to shed Christian blood. By the fifteenth century, the Garduna had all but faded into history before they were revitalized by Ferdinand V. The king summoned the surviving leaders of the Garduna, unleashing them in the service of the Inquisition, this time not only their sins forgiven but their crimes pardoned by the king. In 1670, the Inquisition withdrew their support of the Garduna but by then the groups power was secure.
During the eighteenth century, they repealed the prohibition against injuring Christians and became truly mercenary, selling their criminal services. Finally, in 1822, the Garduna Grand Master of Seville was arrested and, along with 16 other leaders, publicly hung.
Most historians consider that the end of the Garduna but, during the Spanish Civil War, the Garduna battle cry of "Remember the Virgin of Cordoval" resurfaced and it now seems reasonable to assume the Garduna still exist.