Did the Knights Templars form Switzerland? Answers to self proclaimed historian Sean Hross

It’s time to call out Sean Hross and his weird theories he’s spreading and hating the Swiss people all over the internet.

Thesis: http://blog.templarhistory.com/2010/03/did-the-templars-form-switzerland/

Answers:

First answer.

Wow. I’m not a historian, so, happy to be corrected, but my instinct on this one is to call bullshit. Very loudly.

  1. Yes, their decline was roughly, plus or minus a few decades around the time Switzerland formed. Honestly, that doesn’t mean much.
  2. Switzerland is East of France? WEll, at the time, East of France was the Empire. Why Switzerland, especially? It’s just one part of the Empire
  3. Mysterious tales of white knights? First of all, sources? I’ve certainly never heard any. Also, why mysterious? Wouldn’t people recognize them?
  4. Sure, they were big on banking. You know who wasn’t? THe early Swiss. Early Switzerland was poor. It took centuries for Switzerland to become a banking country.
  5. We don’t know our history? Yeah, no. I mean, sure, there are parts we don’t know in detail. That’s history. There’s a few national myths, like Wilhelm Tell. Everyone has those. But most of it is known.
  6. The templar cross is on the flags of the Swiss cantons? Yeah, no. THese are the flags of the original three cantons:
You’ll notice one of these has a cross. It’s not a templar cross, which looks like this:
Quite distinct. You know who else likes crosses? All Christians. This particular cross is all over the HRE. Look at the flags of the other first cantons, none have a cross. Acht Alte Orte – Wikipedia
And you know who uses keys as their emblem? The pope. Also, those keys haev been on the flag of Unterwalden only since the 17th century, before that, it was just red and white. Lambs, once again a common Christian symbol. Also, not on any Cantonal flag.
7. Religious tolerance? Pfff. They were crusading knights. They went on the Reconquista. No, they weren’t. Some of the cities of Switzerland were a bit more tolerant to the Reformation than other parts of the Empire, sure, but we even had our own internal religious wars.

Second Answer.

Agreeing with the other answers here, I would have made similar points, just one more:

Switzerland was formed over centuries, the modern state called Switzerland was founded in 1848.
As a rather progressive state, since the revolutionary, reformed powers won against the Catholics. So then it should have ended. After centuries of having stayed in the hidden? And he even tells us: Go to Switzerland and ask the people there. Well, I’m from Switzerland and NOBODY has ever had such an idea, no farmer, no historian. It’s an lazy argument: Because you can’t check on it, I’m right. Or all Swiss are lying and then there’s only the base of “everything is a lie and only I know the truth”. It’s a bit like saying “There are green people with black eyes and blue dots living on Uranus, they developed a social democracy with federal states and they mate underwater.” – “Can you prove it?” – “No, but can you counter proof it? And if yes, then your proof is a lie.”
Oh and everybody was into farming in the medieval period because that’s how you got food.

Third Answer.

The reference given is pure bullshit – a historian who starts by saying “read my book” is to be listened to only with precaution.

Then Switzerland was founded by mountain farmers communities who wanted to :
  • Help each other against arsonists
  • Control the northern reaches of the Gotthard Pass
  • Not create a country!
And the legend about white knights mysteriously helping is… not even amusing.
Lastly because I stopped there: banking. Yes, the Templars were rich and were bankers to France. But Switzerland became a banking heavyweight in the interwar period only, 600 years later!
So: no.

Source


Next question:

Is it true that modern Switzerland has roots of Knights Templar who escaped from 1307 arrests?

Ian Griffiths

It is very unlikely. The original Swiss confederation in the 13th century was made up of people from difficult to access mountain valleys within the Holy Roman Empire. They had a status that made them directly accountable to the emperor but were threatened by Habsburg “expansionism” within the empire. Their objective was to protect themselves against the Habsburg but also to ensure the peaceful management of the important trade routes through the Alps.

Although these regions are easy to access today both by train and by car, it doesn’t require much imagination to realise just how wild the place must have been before tunnels and bridges were built to make the Gotthard pass more accessible:

Even then it was rather scary in the best of weathers:

It is only round the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that it was made secure. Today the region is a paradise for hikers. So long as the weather is good!

It was a region inhabited by mountain farmers who made some money providing shelter to the merchants crossing the Alps with their wares.

Switzerland grew progressively over the centuries to become the country that we know today. It was to take hundreds of years before it became a rich country. In fact that happened in the last hundred to a hundred and fifty years with the rise of tourism, banking and the service industries that are the basis of the modern economy.

To earn money many Swiss worked as mercenaries in foreign armies including the Pope’s. This probably made them a well trained force with experience of real fighting. They would also have known the ground well and the very remoteness and wildness of the region would have made them a tough proposition to conquer!

There is no historical evidence of any Templar influence in the early history of Switzerland and no particular reason for them to want to go to a small region withing the Holy Roman Empire which had neither fortune, nor particular interest at the time.


Next question.

Are Swiss the Templar Knights?

First answer.

No. The Templars were suppressed as an Order throughout Latin Christendom in 1312. Surviving brethren were farmed out to other orders, usually the Hospitallers. In Portugal, the brethren were formed into a new order, the Order of Christ.

There is no evidence that fugitive Templars fled either to Scotland or to Switzerland. Most likely, this story is a distorted retelling of a virulently antisemitic tract from the 19th century, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” that claimed the world was being controlled by Jewish bankers. It would probably be best to avoid such theories.


Second answer.

Quora User

Banking secrecy only exists since 1934.

The pontifical Swiss guard was a result of a deal between the Pope and the confederacy to protect each other during the Italian Wars with the Habsburgs in the 16th century.
Switzerland’s trend towards neutrality was a result of losing the Battle of Marignano in 1515, after which it was smarter to just stay out and stop entering conflicts.
Since the Knights Templar were active from the 12th to 14th centuries, it’s unlikely that there is a link as such.
Switzerland was not founded by French-speaking cantons, and our History since has been one of immigration and culture-mingling that has little to do with a secret mountain tribe.


Next

Why does Switzerland have the Knights Templar cross as their flag?

First answer.

Thanks for asking me Ross.

As pointed out already, the Swiss flag has a white Greek Cross on a red background. The Knights Templar had a Red Cross Pattee on a white background as their combat emblem. The International Committee of the Red Cross uses a red cross on a white background, but this is a Greek cross and was chosen as an inversion of the Swiss flag and not for any association with the Knights Templar.
The Knights Templar also used a double cross (shown below) – especially in England & Scotland.
My home town, Leeds, has connections to the Knights Templar – include a property called Temple Newsham and a a pub called the Packhorse, which claims to be the city’s oldest pub (current one since 1615) Building has a Templar cross on the outside:
This is nothing like the Swiss flag (but they do serve a decent pint).


Second answer.

Are you kidding me? Are you blind sighted?

  1. The Swiss cross is white, the KT cross is red,
  2. The Swiss cross is rectangular, the KT cross is shaped.


Third answer.

Actually, this is the Templar cross:

And this is the Swiss flag:

The flag of Switzerland has been in use since the formation of the Old Swiss Confederacy in the Medieval Period and was used as identification in battle. It has no ties whatsoever to the Knights’ Templar, and if you take a second look bears no resemblance to their design.


Fourth answer.

The white cross on a red background symbolizes Christianity and represents neutrality, democracy, peace and protection. Nothing to do with Knights Templar as it is quite different.

Actually didn’t know that but google just told me and well, makes sense 🙂


Next question.

Where did the Knights Templar go to besides Switzerland and Scotland?

First answer.

Quora User
Quora User

Templars fled to Portugal, and became the Knights of Christ/ Order of Christ, from whose ranks Prince Henry the Navigator and Vasco De Gama came. They also fled to Spain and were allowed to continue by the orders of Calatrava and Montesa.

But, the Templar wealth went to Scotland for safe keeping it is said (though, this may have been a ‘diversion), though the Portuguese Templars and King Denis were placed ‘in charge’ of the wealth. The main connection was between the Scot Sinclairs and their French brethren the St. Clairs. There is plenty of evidence of the shipments and part of that ‘wealth’ was a large number of documents and information relating to bloodlines, family relationships and monarch history of Judea. THIS was the big threat to the vatican and roman catholic narrative of ‘Christianity’.
When it became known that philip and the pope were in collusion, (the Templars had exemplary intelligence operations, operations that grew out of Mason connections as eyes and ears on catholic church cathedral work sites, nobleman fortifications, movements of goods and peoples etc) arrangements were made to transport all the wealth and treasures of the French Templars out of France to the Orkney Islands off Scotland, owned by the Sinclairs, via the Templar fleet.
King Edward is on record complaining that the Templars were providing the Scots funding to make weapons purchases through neutral Ireland and it was indeed fortunate for the Bruce that Edward died on his way to Scotland, allowing a substantial ‘building period’ with French Templar finances for arms and provisions.
The Bruce had made a seemingly ‘remarkable’ recovery from his devasting defeat at Methuen…thanks to Templar money from France. At Bannockburn, many things besides Scottish Independence were decided. The Templars were given Scottish lands and disguised by being members of masons guilds. They descended into two orders, one under the Bruce, as Grand Master, known as the hidden Royal Order of Scotland and the second being the Order of Heredom, which was presided over and protected by the Sinclairs.
Thousands of French Templars made Scotland their home, in 1338 over 500 properties were registered in Scotland as ‘terrae Templariae’ and they were employed in the extensive tunnel and vault building that went on prior to the construction of Roslin. The tunnels were the hiding place of the great Templar wealth…until the ample fleet of the Sinclairs would be employed to move it.
The English Templars became known as The Knights of St John of Jerusalem.


Second answer.

As already answered the Knights Hospitaler were a common destination for former Templars. The Hospitaler were also endowed with much of the Templars lands and properties.

It was only in France and Italy that the Templars were actively persecuted. In other countries they were merely disbanded with their properties forfeited to the Crown.
In England ex-Templars were supposed to join non-military religious orders, which were endowed with former Templar properties to pay for their upkeep. As many of the English Templars were middle aged or older they were happy to pensioned off. Some of the younger and more active Templars preferred to join the Teutonic Knights in Germany. Participation in the Baltic Crusades was already popular among English knights, who could no longer make their reputation, or pay penance, in the Holy Land, so the English Templars knew they would be welcome.
In Spain and Portugal the Templars essentially rebranded. They surrendered their castles to their kings and formally disbanded. In Portugal the king used the former Templar properties to found a new military order, and in Spain the properties were endowed to a number of existing, smaller, military orders. The former Portuguese and Spanish Templars then joined these local orders, which also accepted foreign Templars seeking refuge.


Third answer.

Most Templars remained in their country of origin and joined other orders — particularly the Hospitallers for fighting men but other orders for the lay brothers. Some Templars certainly went to Spain, Portugal and Cyprus — countries where they had been found innocent by the local authorities — to continue the struggle against the Saracens.

The notion of a Templar “treasure” that was transported anywhere is legend. Most of the Templar wealth was in land, fortresses, horses, weapons etc. The seizure of Templar headquarters in Paris meant that much of the mobile wealth of the French Templars was taken by the French King in the initial action. In other countries where the Order was found innocent there was no need to hide their resources until the dissolution of the Order, at which point it was transferred to the Hospitallers or other Orders.


Next

What is the link between the Knights Templar and Freemasonry?

(No editing, just pasted)

13 Answers

Originally Answered: What is the link between the knights templar and freemasonary?
To claim any such link would be presumptuous. A look into their histories might explain.

The Knights Templar

They grew in influence and wealth, fierce fighters, now numbering thousands. At the height of their power, they owned Cyrus, had their own fleet, and were rich enough to be moneylenders to monarchs.

Jerusalem fell to the Muslims in the late twelfth century. Soon the popularity of the Knights Templar waned and they shrank from a European presence to one limited to Paris. The Catholic Church and Pope Clement V turned against them, so too King Philip IV of France. Under accusations of heresy, desecrating the cross, homosexuality and financial fraud, they were hunted and many burned at the stake. The last Grandmaster Jacques de Molay too was tortured and burnt in 1307.  The complete disbandment of the order is supposed to have taken place at this time.

Some people believe that the order went underground, and operated secretly. 

The freemasons

Any relation between the supposed underground Knights Templar and the Freemasons would be conjecture. There is no evidence to support such a claim.

1.8k views · View 16 Upvoters 

Yes. Absolutely. The relationship between Freemasonry and the Knights Templar goes waaaaaaay back.
Freemasons built many of the Knights Templar commanderies, knights halls, churches, abbeys, preceptories and castles. In France, the Knights Templar were major financial backers for many major building projects, including the great cathedral Notre Dame de Paris, which was constructed under the direction and particiaption of operative Freemasons. Wherever Knights Templars built or funded the building of great buildings, Freemasons were heavily involved; from the Middle East, through France, Italy Portugal, Spain, England, Scotland France and other European countries.
Wherever these building were constructed, the Knights Templar had holdings. Templar ‘districts’ were holdings that weren’t subject to city or country taxation (they were – technically – Church property), where the ancillary personnel for the Commandry or other Templar operations lived. Many masons lived within the Templar districts, and by the 1200s, both group began profiting from each other’s expertise. Both groups simultaneously created labor unions, Masons (through historic documents) joined the Templars and worked on Templar and church buildings. Templars needed buildings for banks, churches and other buildings, and Masons … well, they were builders. Built by Masons, financed by Templars.
After the Knights Templar were arrested, their buildings certainly didn’t disappear. Neither did the districts where many Freemasons and Templars lived. This same held true in England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain and other nations throughout Europe. Masons & Templars living in the same communities, doing much the same work (especially after the collapse of the popularity of running Crusades in the Holy Land).
This included building Roslin Castle (not to be confused with Rosslyn Chapel), which was started in the early 1300s, after a large influx of Freemasons from France … this “large influx” happened right around the same time as the French arrest of the Templars. Henry Sinclair (who was a witness at at least one Templar trial) is linked to the Knights Templar, as is his son and the entire Sinclair clan from the 1300s.
There is plenty of paperwork and documentation to prove the intermingling of the two from the earliest founding of the Templars, through their arrest, and up through the point where Freemasonry changed from an operative fraternity to a speculative one.
As to whether the rituals and symbols are the same … it’s unlikely; the symbol of Freemasonry is the Square and Compass, the Knights Templar is the Beauceant, the Red Cross and the white mantle. The Knights Templar rituals are unique and completely different than any Masonic ritual. No Knights Templar ritual I have participated in has been related to or similar to any Masonic ritual.
1.9k views · View 6 Upvoters 

The ancient Knights Templar was actually quite awesome, and I have nothing but respect.
Some history on the Order
In setting the stage, you have to bear in mind that they come from a time where everything was sorted through war and battle, the Kings would send in their men for squabbles, and campaigns would last years. However with a slow but sure pace the general populace began emerging out of the Middle Ages, new ideas started to emerge. The idea of romanticism, where amongst Knights chivalry and valour ranked high and they became champions to the public.
The Templars existed for over 200 years and as the ranks grew to fight the Holy battles so they became a threat. More so since they had so much money they loaned money to kings to assist in war efforts. Although they started the idea of banks, rather think of them for the real inventions that gave rise to it – cryptography and thus secure travellers cheques.
Initially the protected the route accompanying pilgrims on their route to the holy land. Instead of travelling with gold, they were given a viable alternative in the form of a Cheque or Deposit slip. This would mean nothing to a thief, however would allow the traveller to withdraw funds at his destination.
The fall of the Templars
Now, one of the Kings they were loyal to, as part of the Christian Realm (mainly western Europe) was the King of France, known as Phillip the Fair. He was anything but fair, and as he owed the Templar order a vast amount of money, came up with a cunning plan). He summoned the Grand Master of the Templars, who abided. Unfortunately he was promptly arrested on charges of heresy, as was all the Templars stationed in France on that fateful Friday the 13th of October (origin of the Friday the 13th superstition).
The evil connection
The charge was that of praying to Maphomet (as recorded phonetically). This was ironically a bastardization from the name Muhammed. From the Muslim faith as encountered in the Holy Land.
This Maphomet became Baphomet in the writings of Elphias Levi, and he drew up a demonic vision of the goat headed creature you see on the internet today. This was picked up and expanded upon by Alistair Crowley, and was used in the creation of the Satanic Church, founded by Anton Levay. Ironically there is a a Satanic statue in the USA that is based on the image created by Elphias Levi.
Interesting world we live in.
How does this tie to Freemasonry?
This became even more popular in the mind of the populous when Leo Taxil shared the letters that detailed the practice of devil worship in his popular and controversial hoax to get back at the Catholic Church. Even though this was a very public and openly admitted hoax, the details an misquotes he used are still in circulation today.
It forms the meat of the arguments from the conspiracy theorists, Freemasonry so regularly have to fend off. Part and parcel of why there is an evil connotation to Freemasonry.
Back to the Templars, what happened to the rest, those not captured?
What happened to the fighting fit army, the wealth, and the biggest Armada of ships that disappeared from the port in France where they were docked until the evening before?
Part went to Malta, where the order of Malta exist to this day.
With ships, and a grudge against the Monarchy, the Templars hoisted sail and their flag was flown high. Their flag? You might know it as the Jolly Rodger – welcome to the birth of Piracy!
A considerable chunk went to Scotland though, where they did what they did best. Having been a noble order, they had ties everywhere. They blended in and continued in their nature, fought with the Scotts’ and even sponsored buildings, like the wonderful Rosslyn Chapel.
Now, comes the interesting tie-ins.
Roslyn was built on the ground of the clan Sinclair (St Clair), and low and behold – William Sinclair of Roslin became the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. This can be disputed, but the Sigil of the Knights Templar is found in the Chapel.
But the dates don’t match!
Some may also claim that the dates don’t match. However they fail to realise that even thought the Grand lodges was only created at the beginning of the 1700’s (the UGLE, or rather GLE was founded in 1717). Yet we have masonic documents like the Regious Poem (Halliwell MS) that was dated and re-dated, to approximately the 13 90s. There being earlier references, but no actual clear documentation.
As for the dates not matching – remember the Templars fled France in 12 October 1307.
Apologies for the long answer, but I do hope this paints a bit of a different picture.
Getting the full story and it’s tie-in’s makes a for a completely different holistic view and understanding of the order.
976 views · View 4 Upvoters 
There are PLENTY of ‘links’ from the basic philosophy of both organizations to the Scottish ‘overlap’ of putting French Templars back into the masons ranks, to the distinct duties of both.
The ‘links’ have been attempted to be erased by the infiltrating jesuit entities into the craft.
View my answers in Freemasonry, Templars and Illuminati to read of them. I’m tired of repeating myself on multi questions here that are basically the same.
Freemasonry goes back to ancient Egypt and the priest class of Pharaoh Thoth ( Ningishzida, who was son of Enki) who was displaced by Ra (Marduk, his brother). Some of the earliest ancient Egyptian Freemasonry rituals were found in the crata repoa CrataRepoa. The Templars arose from French Freemasonry, known as the Carbonari secret society, who descended from Akhenaten-Moses’ Brotherhood of the Sun, not the other way round. The Templars were Merovingian descendant nobility families from the Israelite tribe of Benjamin Tribe of Benjamin – Wikipedia. The Benjamites were ‘second in command’ to Pharaoh Akhenaten-Moses and as such fulfilled the role of the spiritual advisor/high priest ( lord chancellor, if you will) ‘green man’ Green Man – Wikipedia or anubis Anubis – Wikipedia.
The ‘green man’ from Rosslyn Chapel (marking Sinclair Clan Sinclair – Wikipedia as the Scot Templar ‘advisor high priest’ to the Scottish King, the role identified as ‘Lord Chancellor’ with the English monarchs) fellow Templar Oliver Cromwell ordered General Monck George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle – Wikipedia out of Rosslyn ( he had stabled horses there) and prevented any further desecration to the chapel, though he (Cromwell) destroyed many other ‘Scottish’ churches.
The secret society Carbonari was the pinnacle of French Freemasonry, high initiate nobility Freemasonry and it aligned itself with the Merovingian dynasty Merovingian dynasty – Wikipedia nobility network across Europe.
713 views

Originally Answered: What is the link between the knights templar and freemasonary?
There seems to be a tenuous connection. I don’t know it’s significance.
DeMolay International, AKA The Order of DeMolay.
DeMolay derives its name from Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of theKnights Templar
Here is the connection:
With the sponsorship of a Masonic body, a DeMolay chapter often meets in a Lodge room or, if not in a Lodge room, in some other appropriate room within the same building. Although not a “Masonic organization” as such, DeMolay is considered to be part of the general “family” of Masonic and associated organizations, along with other youth groups such as Job’s Daughters and Rainbow. As with Rainbow, a family connection to Masonry is not a prerequisite for membership into DeMolay.
The Wikipedia article, linked above, contains a lot of warnings about lack of references or research citations. I cannot comment one way or the other on its reliability. To repeat, the article is claiming that an organization with Masonic connections is named after the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar.
I have a personal anecdote to relate that might be of no significance. When I was a kid in the US state of Georgia, I was approached by two older kids for recruitment into DeMolay. They asked if I was Catholic and I said I was baptised as such, and they said, sorry you can’t be a member of DeMolay. That was that.When I asked my dad about this, he said Masonics didn’t much care for Catholics. I left it at that, because the whole religious/tribal business was to me a complete loser proposition. I was Catholic only by baptism, and did not identify with the label.That memory was revived when I read the question I’m now answering. The Wikipedia article on the Order of DeMolay is the first information I’ve encountered that links the Masonic Order through DeMolay to the Knights Templar. The connection is tenuous because the timeframes are so much apart, 1314 for de Molay being burned at the stake by a Catholic French king, and 1918 for the founding of the DeMolay Order in Kansas City MO.I leave to others the establishment of some deeper link, if there is any.
Originally Answered: What is the link between the knights templar and freemasonary?
From a pure historical point of view, there is no link between the Knights Templar and freemasonery. Not only are there several centuries between the demise of the Templars (except in e.g. Portugal where they continued as the Ordem Militar de Cristo/ Order of Christ, but that’s another story), and the freemasons, but also the background is different. The real history of the beginnings of freemasonary (in England, Scotland and Ireland mainly) is actually unknown. Several histories were invented, histories that even Dan Brown could not have come up with. Anyway, freemasons relate their rituals to presumed rites of the old guilds (at that time abolished in England) and not in any way to the Templars.
483 views · View 1 Upvoter 

Originally Answered: What is the link between the knights templar and freemasonary?
There is a rich mythology about the Knights Templar, the Freemasons, and connections between them. It all makes wonderful storytelling, with mystery, suspense, action and adventure baked together, and just a soupcon of actual historical names and events to make it all seem more real.

Consequently, books and movies and TV “documentaries” abound; and they never lack for audiences. I eat that stuff up myself. “The DaVinci Code,” “National Treasure” — Bring it on! I’ll pay for two hours of colorful fantasy.

But that doesn’t mean I believe it. I’m skeptical about secrets and conspiracies in general because I’ve studied history. I’ve never seen much evidence that humans are smart enough — or self-disciplined enough — to carry out long-running, complicated plots. 

I’m skeptical about the Templar/Masons tales in particular because bona-fide experts say there is no credible historical evidence to substantiate the legends. What hints exist can be explained more efficiently and believably by ordinary human nature and well-documented events.

Personally, I have not devoted serious study to this subject, so I cannot do the kind of footnoted debunking that it deserves. I know just enough to confidently assert that there is some good professional history out there that will tell you all about the real history of the Templars and/or the Masons AND elucidate the flaws in the mythical claims.

(CAVEAT: If I’m proven wrong and someone finds a cave filled with ancient gold, texts from the Library of Alexandria, the Ark of the Covenant, and blueprints for a flying saucer — all guarded by a demented 700-year-old Templar — why, no one will be more delighted than me. But I’m not holding my breath.)

577 views · Answer requested by Ian Robert Haughton

Yes in Masonic Orders ONLY. Not all knights Templars are Free Masons.
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Originally Answered: What is the link between the knights templar and freemasonary?

There is no connection.  The Knights Templar were put out of business in the 13 th century.   The Freemasons became prominent in the 18 th century. 

I  know the  Conspiracy Theories love to tie them together  just as they love to assert that the Knights Templar  have buried the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail  somewhere in Texas or Arizona.  

But they are Wrong.   The whole thing is the doings of Ancient Aliens and both the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail are in Warehouse 18.

289 views · View 3 Upvoters 
Originally Answered: What is the link between the knights templar and freemasonary?
Well it is said that the ideas brought back from the crusades fed what was a proto freemason organization. The Masons themselves trace their organization to the middle ages, when Masons made their own guild. Hence the triangle and the compass for their sigil. Before the crusades there was very little cultural contact with the muslim east. Afterwards, the masons had ideas of Allah to add to their mix. 
It would probably be wrong to trace the Masons to just the 18th century, since there was a group called the Illuminati that was proto masonic. They existed in tje renaissance.
Were all templars masons? No. Could their ideas and experiences have influenced them? Definitely.
359 views · View 2 Upvoters 

Originally Answered: What is the link between the knights templar and freemasonary?
Thanks for the a2a!

In my teens I was fascinated by the Templars and I remember reading some very interesting crypto-historical books that linked the Templars and the Free-Masons.

If I remember correctly, the theory is that after the Templars’s fall in France, some members of the order went underground and reorganized themselves in secret societies that would later bear the name Free-Masons. 

That’s really all I can remember now, but I do believe such ideas arose because both groups were rather secretive and exerted some political influence at one point or another. The Templars and other Crusaders  are also sometimes credited for the emergence of Gothic Architecture, apparently established after the return of the European knights from the Middle-East.

Hope this helped!

499 views · View 4 Upvoters 

Originally Answered: What is the link between the knights templar and freemasonary?
Wholly imaginary.  The initial claim was to the Knights Hospitaller, who however had survived as the “Sovereign Military Order of Malta” and could deny it.

I’d put the supposed quote from Nathan Rothschild at a level with the Abraham Lincoln quote that you can’t trust eveything you read on the internet Nathan Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild was no more than middle-ranking.  And I think that “Money supply” is a much more modern concept.  In his day, the link was to gold.

699 views · View 2 Upvoters 


Additionally

http://freemasonrywatch.org/knightstemplar.html

Another History of the Knights Templar: Conclusion 

Sources & Backup see below.


The Templar seal depicting a horse with two riders has always mystified historians, at least those not familiar with its Sumerian antecedent.
 But given the complex and sometimes contradictory story of the Knights Templar, it makes sense on a number of different levels.

It symbolizes the exoteric and the esoteric nature of the Order.
 It symbolizes the agenda of Rome and the hidden agenda of the grand masters.It symbolizes the Norman core of the Order and also its shadowy patrons, possibly Venetians. And it symbolizes the virtual empire of the Normans/Templars and the ancient virtual empire of the Phoenicians.

The Phoenicians were similarly dualistic. There was the obvious mercantile component of the virtual empire; “an empire built on trade, not conquest” as the cliche goes, but there was also the cultural component as well. The Phoenicians were in many ways the Internet of the ancient Mediterranean.

There was the exoteric religion of the Phoenicians and their Canaanite kin that was based on the Sumerian-derived pantheon, and then there was a parallel, syncretic Greco-Egyptian Mystery tradition the Phoenicians seem to have created and disseminated, from Persia to the British Isles. And then there was the evolution of that tradition from the Mysteries to Gnosticism, which Phoenicians seem to be the secret force behind as well. 

Rome had countless thousands killed —
perhaps up to a million people or even many more— from the reign of Constantine to the Albigensian Crusade in order to eradicate Gnosticism from Europe. It was much like conservative hero Cato’s genocide of the Carthaginians— probably the most efficient genocide of a people in terms of raw percentage– up to 85% of the nation was killed during Rome’s invasion.

The never-ending Crusade would be slowed with the rise of the Rosicrucians and the original Freemasons, who would bring down the Medieval royal families and greatly reduce the power of the Vatican in Europe.

Even so, tens of thousands of Rosicrucians and Freemasons would then be slaughtered in concentration camps with the rise of self-confessed Christian Adolf Hitler who– contrary to all of the ridiculous and somewhat sinister disinformation floating around out there —went out of his way to crush all forms of Esotericism, outside of the traditional Volkisch mysticism of the SS.

And we can add the hundreds of Templars burned alive to the death toll.

What becomes clear is that the heresy the Templars were accused of was Johannite Gnosticism; in other words, a reverence of John the Baptist as the true messiah. The Vatican is unambiguous about this– or rather, was until it reversed course in the mid 2000s under pressure or influence we can only guess at. As Pope Pius IX wrote: 

“The Templars, like all other Secret Orders and Associations, had two doctrines, one concealed and reserved for the Masters, which was Johannism; the other public, which was the Roman Catholic. Thus they deceived the adversaries whom the sought to supplant. Hence Free-Masonry, vulgarly imagined to have begun with the Dionysian Architects or the German Stone-workers, adopted Saint John the Evangelist as one of its patrons, associating with him, in order not to arouse the suspicions of RomeSaint John the Baptist, and thus covertly proclaiming itself the child of the Kabalah and Essenism together.
– 
Pope Pius IX

Was John himself Phoenician? Syrian Phoenicians are generally credited with the creation of Gnosticism and the Vatican is on record as believing the Baptist to be the “Father of the Gnostics.” It’s hard to say, but what is clear is that like many other hubs of the Roman East, Israel was a marketplace of religious ideas during the time of John and Jesus and the lines of demarcation were not always clear. Syncretism was rampant and ideas were stolen left and right as any number of sects competed for adherents among the bustling cities of the eastern Mediterranean, from Antioch to Alexandria.

The fact that the Templars would use the Gnostic deity of Abraxas on their official seals only confirms these connections.
 The Gnostics were like the Phoenicians in that they valued magical gems or coins, known as “scarabs” or “amulets,” as portable icons for the believer. The figure of Abraxas was especially popular:

The Basilidean Gnostics taught that from this supreme God was created nous (mind). Abraxas also was identified with the Hebrew ‘Adonai, the Egyptian Horus, and the Hindu Prajapati.

Gnostic amulets known as Abraxas gems depicted the god as a pantheos (all-god), with the head of a cock, herald of the sun, representing foresight and vigilance; a human body clothed in armor, suggestive of guardian power; legs in the form of sacred asps. In his right hand is a scourge, emblem of authority; on his left arm a shield emblazoned with a word of power. – Glossary of Spiritual and Religious Words


Abraxas was identified with Horus and was probably derived from a common Phoenician scarab design picturing a kneeling Horus atop the two symbolic serpents of Egypt called the Uraei, often seen on pharaonic headdresses. As you can see in the images above, the snake legs of Abraxas take the place of the Uraei. Note that Abraxas also carries Horus’ pharaonic flail. The rooster was identified with Horus in his form of Harpocrates, the rising sun, for obvious reasons.

But how could the Templars have learned of Abraxas, with the original Gnostics long buried and even the anti-Gnostic writings of the aristocratic Church Fathers generally unavailable in the days before the invention of the printing press?

Scholars have long cited the survival of ancient wisdom in Arab and Persian lands, which became sanctuaries for scholars and religious minorities fleeing the rampaging desert monks (literally the first “storm-troopers,” in that they came out of the Egyptian wilderness into the cities to destroy all opposition to the orthodoxy like a desert storm).

But the tolerance of Hellenistic learning had waned considerably by the time the Templars came along, and a backlash was rising in the Muslim world due to a number of thorny religious disputes:

(Abbasid caliph al-Mamun) responded to a crisis of legitimacy by attempting to undermine traditionalist religious scholars while actively sponsoring a doctrine called Mu’tazilism that was deeply influenced by Greek rationalism, particularly Aristotelianism. To this end, he imposed an inquisition, under which those who refused to profess their allegiance to Mu’tazilism were punished by flogging, imprisonment, or beheading.

But the caliphs who followed al-Mamun upheld the doctrine with less fervor, and within a few decades, adherence to it became a punishable offense. The backlash against Mu’tazilism was tremendously successful: by 885, a half century after al-Mamun’s death, it even became a crime to copy books of philosophy.

But there were other sects in the Levant where the Templars could rediscover the lost legacy of Western civilization. A process would begin in which ancient wisdom and sacred science would be rediscovered, a process that would lead to the progress and prosperity of the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance and the gradual weakening of Roman power.

This would be the true birth of Europe, which may have been midwifed by a mysterious sect who arose in Phoenicia at the same time the Normans were making their mark on Europe.

Remember that contrary to the popular myth of fanatical holy warriors, the Knights Templar often made peace with the “Saracens”, a blanket term not only for Muslims but for other non-Christian sects in Asia. They would be criticized for their contacts with the indigenous people of the lands they were occupying, one group of whom was almost certainly the source of the Templars exposure to the ancient Gnosis.

Unlike the Knights Templar, this sect survives to this this day:

The Druze faith began as a movement in Ismailism, that was mainly influenced by Greek philosophy and gnosticism and opposed certain religious and philosophical ideologies that were present during that epoch. The faith was preached by Hamza ibn ‘Alī ibn Ahmad, a Persian Ismaili mystic and scholar. He came to Egypt in 1014 and assembled a group of scholars and leaders from across the world to establish the Unitarian movement.- Wiki

As with the Sikhs of India and arguably the Templars themselves, the Druze learned that the only way for a Gnostic sect to survive was to learn how to fight, and fight better than their oppressors:

It was during the period of Crusader rule in Syria (1099–1291) that the Druze first emerged into the full light of history in the Gharb region of the Chouf Mountains. As powerful warriors serving the Muslim rulers of Damascus against the Crusades, the Druze were given the task of keeping watch over the crusaders in the seaport of Beirut, with the aim of preventing them from making any encroachments inland.

Subsequently, the Druze chiefs of the Gharb placed their considerable military experience at the disposal of the Mamluk rulers of Egypt (1250–1516); first, to assist them in putting an end to what remained of Crusader rule in coastal Syria, and later to help them safeguard the Syrian coast against Crusader retaliation by sea- Wiki 

Following the Persian conquest of Syria and the Phoenician homelands, there was a lot of exchange of people and ideas between Persia and the Levant. Ismailism seems to have Phoenician fingerprints all over it, and the Druze religion– largely centered in historical Phoenicia– is nearly identical to the Phoenician Mysteries and Gnostic cults in nearly every way:

The Druze religion is a secret faith. They have preserved the strictest silence upon their beliefs and truly occult rites…….Of the alleged 45 sacred books of the Druze, none were ever seen, let alone examined, by any European scholar.

To the Druze, previous religions are mere types of the true, and their sacred books and observances are to be interpreted allegorically. As converts are no longer admitted, the faithful must keep their doctrine secret from the profane; and in order that their allegiance may not bring them into danger, (they are allowed) to make outward profession to hide their inner belief… –Antioch Gate

A Phoenician crescent and star symbolizing Ba’al (“Lord”) and a Templar seal

The connections between the Phoenician Mysteries and the Druze extend to the special relationship between the Druze and the post-Templar esoteric orders of the late Renaissance and Enlightenment periods. Many have argued that the Templars were changed forever by contacts made in the Levant and it would seem that those contacts were with the Druze (note etymological similarity to “Druid”)

Sophisticated Druze still sometimes claim connection with Rosicrucians, and a special relation to Scottish Freemasons. The Druze are rather like Druids, and also like Freemasons. In fact, some say that Templar Knights were initiated into Druze orders, and thus Freemasonry was born. It must be pointed out that the Druze were much given to making vehement warfare against the Crusaders.

Rosicrucian doctrines spread to Europe from Arabia, and it is possible that Druze doctrines were carried to Europe during the Crusades. There are modern and traditional parallels between the Druze and the Rosicrucians who came a few hundred years later.

In the modern sense, some Druze were initiated into Orders of the Rose-Croix or higher degrees of Masonry (or the mystical Masonic Rite called the Order of Disciples of Pythagoras) and they came to a faith which is in essence the same mystery doctrine that the Rose-Croix teaches. –Antioch Gate

Even more remarkable is the special attachment to Akhenaton, whose conversations with a mysterious flying disk he called Ra-Horus-Aten changed the course of world history:

That organized school began to spread to other lands during the reign of Akhenaton, and spread to Greece (where Pythagoras, Plato and Plotinus were initiates), then Canaan. Akhenaton is recognized as a divine being by both the Rose-Croix and Druze. Even the mystical work of Rose-Croix (and Martinist work) revolved around “reintegration.”

Archetypical Man as a divine being forgot his true essence and mistakes the material universe (which is part of him) as separate and external, since the Fall. Physical man is but a material shadow though endowed with a divine spark. –Antioch Gate

The Druze are not the only Syncretic/Gnostic sect in the former Phoenician lands, nor the only sect with a special link to Mt. Hermon, home of the Igigi, the Watchers left behind by the Anunnaki in Sumerian myth and later regarded as “fallen angels.”

Also known as Nusayris, (the Alawites) are an Arabic speaking ethno-religious community, who also live in the Latakiah province of Syria and in the adjacent districts of northern Lebanon and southern Turkey. In recent years many ‘Alawis have moved to the large cities of Syria. A small number still survive in Wadi al-Taym south of Mt Hermon. World-wide they number 2.2 million people, of whom 1.6 million live in Syria where they constitute 13% of the population and are the largest minority group.

Their religion is secret and seems to be a syncretistic mixture of extreme Shi’a (Ghulat), ancient pagan, gnostic and Christian elements. They are sometimes classified as a branch of Twelver Shi’ism, but are actually an independent religion. They do not keep the five pillars of Islam, and they have no mosques but meet in private houses for their religious observances. Their festivals include Persian and Christian holy days. They have a ceremony similar to the Christian mass and believe in a trinitarian manifestation of God.

The Druze and the Alawi both arose from the mountains of the Levant and almost certainly stem from earlier common antecedents, the same philosophy that also produced the so-called Assassin cult of Hassan-i Sabbah, which has become closely entwined with the Templar mythology.

Despite mutual animosity, the Alawis are much like the Druzes. Historically both the Druze and the Alawis are off-shoots of Ismailism, which was an earlier split from the Shi’i Imamis (Twelver Shi’ah, the sect that predominates in Iran) …Alawis reject Islam’s main tenets; by almost any standard they must be considered non-Muslims. 

An accepted reference on Nusayri rites and doctrines was published in Aleppo in 1859 as Kitab al-Majmu. According to its author, Sulayman al-Adhani, the Nusayris, like other sects of the Syrian mountains on the Mediterranean, primarily believed in the transmigration of souls.- Islamic Articles Library

The Assassins were yet another warrior Gnostic clan in the former Phoenician homelands, a fact which beggars coincidence. It could be argued that the Phoenicians kept close to home and took on whatever exoteric guise their neighbors adopted and continued to pursue their own interests apart from the demands of the religious and military forces running rampant throughout Asia Minor and North Africa for centuries.

And contrary to the reductionist propaganda surrounding them -the hashish and the false Paradise and the rest- the Assassins also followed Gnostic ideas of spiritual incarnation, the same ones that inspired Bogomil high initiates to hurl themselves onto the Crusader bonfires, rather than beg for mercy:

“Isma’ili theology was thus revolutionary in character. The haqa’iq transcended human reason and ultimately derived from gnostic doctrines, considering the principles of spiritual and physical worlds in Neoplatonic terms.

The Gnostics held that the physical world had been created by an inferior deity, the Yahweh of the Old Testament, who was allowed a certain lassitude until God decided to send His son to inhabit the body of Jesus and free the world from false teachings.

Certain Gnostic notions passed into Islam when Mohammed adopted the gnostic idea that the body which was crucified was only a phantom which the Jews and Romans could not harm.”–Edward Burman, The Assassins: Holy Killers of Islam

The radicalism of the Assassins showed that the dreamy, hippie Gnostics of Alexandria were a distant memory and a new kind of Gnostic emerged in the Levant, forged in the endless human bonfires of Rome’s inquisitors and crusaders. But the indulgent Gnosis of the Alexandrian rich kids may well be an aberration itself.

Taaut, the sacred Phoenician fire serpent

Gnosticism originally arose in Roman Syria, the territory carved out of Phoenician rubble, and was a rigorous and pessimistic creed, exactly what you might expect from a defeated people whose racial memory stretched back to a time when men walked with gods:

(The Syrian) school represents the oldest phase of Gnosticism, as Western Asia was the birthplace of the movement. Dositheus, Simon Magus, Menander, Cerinthus, Cerdo, Saturninus Justin, the Bardesanites, Sevrians, Ebionites, Encratites, Ophites, Naassenes, the Gnostics of the “Acts of Thomas”, the Sethians, the Peratae, the Cainites may be said to belong to this school.

The Naassenes (from Nahas, the Hebrew for serpent) were worshippers of the serpent as a symbol of wisdom, which the God of the Jews tried to hide from men. The Ophites (ophianoi, from ophis, serpent), who, when transplanted on Alexandrian soil, supplied the main ideas of Valentinianism, become one of the most widely spread sects of Gnosticism. Though not strictly serpent-worshippers, they recognized the serpent as symbol of the supreme emanation, Achamoth or Divine Wisdom.

The universe they symbolized by a triangle enclosed in a circle. The number three is the key to all mysteries. There are three supreme principles: the not-generated, the self-generated, the generated. There are three logoi, of gods; the Saviour has a threefold nature, threefold body, threefold power, etc. – The Catholic Encyclopedia

And the constant bickering between the El cults of Canaan and the El cults of Israel certainly seems to be reflected in the jaundiced eye the Syrian Gnostics regarded the God of the Jews and Christians with.

The Serpent– who represented Wisdom to the Gnostics– wasn’t a tempter in the Garden, he was a liberator. Yahweh was a slave-master, denying knowledge to Adam and Eve in the same way plantation masters forbade their slaves from learning how to read or write:

The Garden of Eden story is then transformed so that the biblical tree of the knowledge of good and evil becomes a vehicle of knowledge (gnosis) established by the heavenly or pleromatic realm. But the tree of life becomes a vehicle of bondage and dependence established by the demiurgical realm. 

The divine messenger from the pleroma encourages man to eat from the tree of knowledge; and in so eating, man discovers that the jealous Creator – Demiurge (often linked with misspelled forms of Yahweh such as Yaldabaoth or Yao) is not in fact the ultimate God but really an enemy of God. Man, as a result of divine help, thus comes to know more than the Creator. 

Gnostics are those set within a world where they are the spiritual persons (pneumatikoi) who possess the light particles and need only to be awakened in order to inherit their destinies.

The Valentinian goal is reentry into the pleroma, which is often symbolized by terms such as “union” or “unity.”… At death the Gnostics, who had experienced awakening, shed the rags of mortality as they ascended through the realms of the fates (or planets). — G. L. Borchert, Elwell Evangelical Dictionary

To the true Gnostic, death was a liberation from the false prison planet of the Demiurge and his Archons. It’s no surprise then how Gnostic sects like the Druze became such fearsome warriors.

But there’s an even older Gnostic sect in the Middle East than the Druze or the Alawi, one that the Templars almost certainly came into contact with and one that would explain the reverence for John the Baptist in esoteric orders. 

No less an authority than Josephus recorded that the Jews believed it was the execution of John and not Jesus that was believed to have brought the wrath of God down upon them in the civil wars that led to the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in the First Century:

The Mandaeans (literally, “the knowers”) are the only surviving Gnostics from the time of late Antiquity. They have dwelled for the past eighteen hundred years in southern Iraq and southwest Iran, and increasingly, as a result of recent wars, in other parts of the world. They adhere to the typical Gnostic doctrines and mythologies regarding the soul’s entrapment in earthly life and the existence of a heavenly Lightworld, the soul’s true home.

Being baptists, the Mandaeans consider John the Baptist their main prophet and renewer of the religion, which, they say, ultimately stems from Adam himself. The Mandaeans live next to but remain apart from their (mostly Moslem) neighbors, and throughout the centries they have preserved their traditions to a remarkable degree.

Conversion to Mandaean beliefs would explain the charges most consistently aimed at the Templars by defectors in the ranks, namely that “they spit on the Holy Cross, these Knights Templar. Not only do they deny the divinity of Christ during their reception, they do not even worship God Almighty, but a graven idol instead. ” From Pope Pius IX’s landmark Allocution:

“The secret thought of Hugues de Payens, in founding his Order, was not exactly to serve the ambition of the Patriarchs of Constantinople. There existed at that period in the East a Sect of Johannite Christians, who claimed to be the only true Initiates into the real mysteries of the religion of the Saviour.

“The Johannites ascribed to Saint John the foundation of their Secret Church, and the Grand Pontiffs of the Sect assumed the title of Christos, Anointed, or Consecrated, and claimed to have succeeded one another from Saint John by an uninterrupted succession of pontifical powers. 

Pio’s charge of Templar Johannite subversion seems ridiculous to orthodox historians, but the mystical ferment of the 11th Century might well speak to contact between the Normans– no admirers of the soft, decadent pederasts who were taking away their ancestral gods– and Mandaean sects in the mountains of Antioch. Pio again: 

“Thus the Order of Knights of the Temple was at its very origin devoted to the cause of opposition to the tiara of Rome and the crowns of Kings, and the Apostolate of Kabalistic Gnosticism was vested in its chiefs. For Saint John himself was the Father of the Gnostics, and the current translation of his polemic against the heretical of his Sect and the pagans who denied that Christ was the Word, is throughout a misrepresentation, or misunderstanding at least, of the whole Spirit of that Evangel.”

And of course the eternal Roman fear of being overthrown– the ultimate source of all religiously-based conspiracy theory dating back to the Bacchants and the Syrian Goddess— informs Pio’s frankly baseless charge that the Templars were planning to overthrow the Holy See.

Blavatsky’s Secret Chiefs in suspiciously Mandaean garb

All evidence points to the conclusion that the Templars had become fat and happy in their new role as Europe’s bankers, a fact that cause considerable resentment among those who once saw them as self-sacrificing Holy Warriors for Christendom. In that regard, Pio’s retroactive conspiracy theorizing below seems particularly specious. When Rome wanted to murder an entire population and steal its treasure, it always dreamed up imaginary conspiracies that its armies swept in to prevent:

“To acquire influence and wealth, then to intrigue, and at need to fight, to establish the Johannite or Gnostic and Kabalistic dogma, were the object and means proposed to the initiated Brethren. The Papacy and the rival monarchies, they said to them, are sold and bought in these days, become corrupt, and to-morrow, perhaps, will destroy each other. All that will become the heritage of the Temple: the World will soon come to us for its Sovereigns and Pontiffs. We shall constitute the equilibrium of the Universe, and be rulers over the Masters of the World.”

The worship of Baphomet – a skull or model of a severed head (such ‘relics’ were common in the Middle Ages) by most reputable accounts- seems also to derived from the John-worshipping Mandaeans, who were probably also conversant in Arabic given their settlements in modern-day Iraq. “Baphomet” could be a sacred pun, combining the Baptist with the Arabic Abufihamat, meaning “Father of Understanding” or “Father of Wisdom.”

If Gnostic sects thrived in the Middle East and continue to survive to this day, the same couldn’t be said for their brethren in Europe. The Cathars built a prosperous Gnostic community in France at the same time the Templars were active and developed a two-tiered system roughly analogous to the laity and clergy of the Catholic Church:

(The Cathars) believed in reincarnation, rejected the Old Testament, rejected the sacraments of the Catholic Church, rejected material possessions, and rejected the image of cross. They also had a clergy known as the “perfect”, which were distinguished from other Cathars, known as “good Christians”, by black clothing. The perfects abstained from meat and marriage, for which the general population of Cathars showed them reverence and respect. Although ascetic doctrines were advocated and adhered to by the perfects, other Cathars continued to own material possessions, have families, and likely ate meat. — Crusades-Encyclopedia

Rome set about to liquidate the Cathars but found that they weren’t like the old Gnostics- they were more like the Druze. Rome’s tactics became more and more brutal, providing a model for the Nazis- who saw themselves as the new Teutonic Knights, slaying the enemies of the Mother Church.

Indeed, by calling themselves the “Third Reich” the Nazis defined themselves as the inheritors of the mantle of Charlemagne, another religiously-inspired mass-murderer who established the First Reich of the Holy Roman Empire. Note the tactics of the fanatically-religious crusader, De Montfort (who like Philip the Fair, died a gruesome- and humiliating- death not long after the massacre):

The Cathars spent much of 1209 fending off the crusaders. The leader of the crusaders, Simon de Montfort, resorted to primitive psychological warfare. He ordered his troops to gouge out the eyes of 100 prisoners, cut off their noses and lips, then send them back to the towers led by a prisoner with one remaining eye. This only served to harden the resolve of the Cathars. –Wikipedia

Overwhelmed by superior numbers, the Cathars eventually fell to the waves of bloodthirsty maniacs:

The doors of the church of St Mary Magdalene were broken down and the refugees dragged out and slaughtered. Reportedly, 7,000 people died there. Elsewhere in the town many more thousands were mutilated and killed. Prisoners were blinded, dragged behind horses, and used for target practice. What remained of the city was razed by fire. Arnaud wrote to Pope Innocent III, “Today your Holiness, twenty thousand heretics were put to the sword, regardless of rank, age, or sex.”–Wikipedia

Indeed, heretic or true believer- it made no difference to Rome. The Cathar genocide would give rise to a famous slogan popularized during the Vietnam War:

The Béziers army attempted a sortie but was quickly defeated, then pursued by the crusaders back through the gates and into the city. Arnaud, the Cistercian abbot-commander, is supposed to have been asked how to tell Cathars from Catholics. His reply, recalled by Caesar of Heisterbach, a fellow Cistercian, thirty years later was “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.”—”Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own.”

In this light, I don’t think it’s very difficult to imagine why people formed secret societies in Medieval Europe.

The Templars were the next human sacrifices in the endless procession of religious genocide in Europe. The French Templars got it the worst, but many other Templars elsewhere in Europe either did the usual penance or were simply allowed to change their identification or melt into other orders.

The “Great Templar Escape” that has inspired legends and novels and even films like the first National Treasure film has been dismissed by historians for lack of documentation– as if flouting the direct orders of the Holy See (and risking the usual, Cathar-type bloodbath) would leave a paper trail. Recent theories have the Templars taking refuge in Switzerland (which would later produce modern Gnostics like Carl Jung, Erich Von Daniken and Albert Hofmann, essentially the three founding fathers of the Secret Sun).


But the most popular theories have it that the Templars escaped into Scotland.
 Again, orthodox historians have poo-poohed this, but Robert the Bruce was a Norman, the Scots would rout the English at Bannockburn and go on to establish a permanent aristocracy inside England based in banking and shipping, just as the Templars and the Venetians and the Phoenicians before them.

When the Papal letter reached the hand of Robert the Bruce of Scotland to imprison the Templars, he summarily dismissed it. No effort at all was ever made to prosecute the Knighthood in Scotland and this was undoubtedly a major attraction to many noble Templars in hiding. Though perhaps no longer able to openly call themselves Templars, they appear to have continued to exercise real power in the world.

Much evidence supports the belief that Robert the Bruce apparently welcomed renegade Templars into Scotland, both by overland journey from England, and as well as on ships from France. He was in great need of experienced and well equipped fighting men of this there is no doubt. the English outnumbered and out-eqquipped him badly, particularly when it came to armor and horse.– Acheson Geneological Society

And sure enough, the earliest stirrings of Freemasonry- ultimately traced back to the Norman St. Clair family and the building of Rosslyn Chapel– would ride with Bruce into England. American Masons under the rule of the Grand Lodge of Ireland would eventually form the core of the Revolutionary Army before becoming absorbed in the aristocracy themselves, just like the Templars before them.

Just like the Templars, the power and arrogance of the newly-empowered American Masons would inspire a populist backlash leading the creation of the Anti-Mason Party. However, the Freemasons took the crisis as an opportunity to create a dizzying array of collegiate fraternities and civic organizations,groups that would ultimately evolve away from their mystical origins andovershadow the Masonic Orders as the backbone of the American ruling class. That’s evolution for you…

In Europe and South America, Masonic orders would foment revolutions that would overthrow or marginalize the old ruling dynasties and severely curtail the power of the Catholic Church, forcing the Vatican to establish itself as a sovereign state to protect its own power. The fortunes of the Church are in free-fall in Europe and the Americas, a process accelerated by the priestly vice of pedophilia finally being exposed to the public.

Scandals over abuse date back to the very earliest days of the Churchand were fomented by reformist radicals within the Vatican in the Middle Ages, but the fear of the Church’s power kept them out of the major media until finally exploding– due to sheer, mind-numbing volume– in the early 2000s. And despite the protestations of ridiculous Vatican shills, the crisis is not closeto being over.

Strangely enough, at the very same time that these crimes were finally being brought to light in public, private talks with a shadowy English group claiming to be the true remnant of the Knights Templar resulted in the Order being exonerated by the Holy See in 2007, the 700th Anniversary of the original Templar repression.

A European church is usually an empty church


While the power of the Christian world has shifted
 ( Rupert Murdoch and the Chinese Communist Party are now the world’s largest publishers of Bibles), and with South America increasingly becoming less Catholic and more Pentecostal, it seems the Templars’ exoneration is just part of a overall evolution in the late-period history of the Church.

The Vatican is still powerful and still unimaginably wealthy, but the shift of its power base from Europe to Africa (where it will have to contend to the aggressively expansionist ideology of Islamism) seems to harbor an uncharted future for the Church. If indeed the Freemasons are the inheritors of the Templar mantle, it would seem their fortunes are in decline as well. Membership in the various Masonic Orders is dropping as the aging lodges fail to attract enough younger members to stay relevant.

Of course, the greater Masonic-derived method of grooming tomorrow’s ruling class is with us more than ever, though the regimented systems of the high-level fraternities and professional and civic organizations has nothing to do with the Mysteries or the Gnostics at all. But the same evolution seemed to happen with the Templars themselves. Money has a funny way of making even the most committed mystics break their vows.

At the same time, the Gnostic story seems to be entering a new stage, as those Swiss hierophants Jung, Hofmann and Von Daniken have popularized methods for understanding the dense, often-impenetrable visionary cosmologies of the ancient Gnostics. This process is still developing but could easily accelerate as disillusionment with the status quo intensifies.

Then of course there are various neo-Gnostic Christian sects identified by Bloom in The American Religion, Mormonism being the most powerful and successful (and best-looking, apparently).

Indeed conspiracy theory itself, as self-defeating as it can be and as tainted as it often is with fascism and fundamentalism, is nothing less than a modern reincarnation of the totalizing pessimism and suspicion of the ancient Gnostics, with the defunct “Illuminati” or the non-existent “Luciferians” taking the place of the Archons. But it’s wise to remember that genocides arealways preceded by conspiracy theorizing.

Even as the Internet and other new technologies seem to have empowered narcissism and self-absorption, they have also empowered new seekers with the tools to bypass the filtering systems of the mass media and the academic and ecclesiastical establishments.

The future of these new Gnosticisms is entirely dependent on which model their adherents choose to follow: the navel-gazing, hippy-dippy Gnosticism of the Alexandrian cults and the Bogomils, or the rigorous, unshakable Gnosticism of the Druze, the Sikhs and indeed, the original Knights Templar. The jury is still very much out on this question.

As for the Templars themselves, they have yet to really emerge from the shadows. There have always been pretender groups, but it may well turn out that the Hertfordshire Templars are different from all of the Masonic and quasi-Masonic Knight Templar orders.

Watch this space- if the situation changes, it will be a major topic for discussion around here.


* links courtesy of anonymous reader!

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