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Myths and Stories of the Knights Templar

Templar Grave, Temple Church, London

Due to the secrets that the Templars kept during their existence, and the incredibly strange stories
generated by their Inquisitors during their downfall, a large number of myths have developed around the
Templars. Some of these may be true. Some may not. It's largely up to the individual to decide.

Devil Worshiping Knights

Temple of Eastern Knowledge

King Makers

Guardians of The Most Holy Grail

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Devil Worshipping Knights

The idea that the Knights Templar were devil worshippers arose out of tortures of the Inquisition. In
order for Philip the Fair to confiscate the Templar holdings, they must be found guilty of heresy. So,
using techniques later perfected during the witch trials that peaked around 1600, the Knights were
tortured until they signed confessions. The fact that so many of the recanted (withdrew their confessions)
as soon as the torture stopped was not a sign of innocence. The prevailing sense of the time was that
people told the truth while being tortured. The thought that people would tell you whatever you wanted
them to just didn't make sense at the time. The Templar treasurer was quoted as saying, "Under such
torture, I would have confessed to killing God."

Under such torture, the Templars confessed to all sorts of crimes. At their initiations they, supposedly
spat and walked on the cross, denied that Christ was the son of God, and promised to relieve all sexual
desires with their Brothers. They were supposed to exchange lewd kisses on the lower back or navel
(kissing on the mouth was actually an approved exchange between men at the time). They also confessed

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to idol worship. Several, though not many, of the confessions mentioned a head, made of metal or wood,
that was sometimes referred to as Baphomet (see Temple of Easter Knowledge for a further discussion of
Baphomet).

Ultimately, although a large number of Templars were burned at the stake as heretics, the charges against
the Order as a whole, fell through. Ultimately the Pope dissolved the order with the excuse that the
accusations alone would prevent people from joining it. It had therefore outlived its usefulness. To make
sure that this attitude stuck, the Pope went on to say that anyone joining the Order in the future would be
excommunicated and labeled a heretic. Aside from the confessions, again, most of them recanted after
the torture, there was very little evidence that the Templars deviated from the basic Catholocism of the
time. One theory is that during their initiation, they did recreate Peter's renunciation of Christ as part of
the ritual. It was this that became the basis for some of the charges against them. Baphomet was never
found.

Temple of Eastern Knowledge

Since the Templars were originally established in the Temple of Solomon, some of the status and history
of that location rubbed off onto the Templars. Also, since the Middle East in general, and the Holy Land
in particular, were a conduit through which poured the wealth of knowledge of the Far East, surely, some
of it came through the hands of the Templars. Most of the ideas around this special knowledge of the
East that the Templars hold are suppositions based on slender facts. However, a few fun bits of
knowledge do come out.

The Templars designed a number of their churches on the circular layout of the Temple itself (see the
ruins at left, or Temple Church, London on the first page). It's this 'sublime architecture' that finds its way
into the mythology of the Freemasons, a group claiming descent from the Knights Templar (see the King
Makers section for more). The round churches were supposed to be an outward evidence of the wisdom
brought back from the East.

The infamouse Baphomet that the Templars supposedly worshipped has another side to it. Apparently a
very common medieval French spelling of the prophet Muhammad was 'Baphomet'. Thus, we can see
that the Templars became the very thing they were fighting against, followers of Islam. Couple this with
the agreements made during the war between the Templars and Saladin, or the Templars and Assassins
(the kinds of agreements made between armies and warring powers the world over, not to be

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misconstrued) and you suddenly have a conduit for the knowledge of the East. At the time of their final
persecution, some Templars in small enclaves in Spain and Egypt, sought refuge and converted to Islam.

King Makers

When Philip IV and Pope Clement arranged to have the Templars arrested in France, they also attempted
to make the same arrangements in other countries. Edward II in England arrested some the highest
ranking members of the Temple and even allowed some of them to be tortured (none of them confessed
to anything). Germany and Spain merely converted their members into other orders and thereby slid past
the Pope. In Scotland however, Robert Bruce was waging a war of independence against Edward. Bruce
was already excommunicate and he needed soldiers and funds. Bruce flagrantly and deliberatly ignored
the Pope and sent out word that all Templars would be welcome.

Meanwhile, in France, not all Templars were arrested. The Templar fleet set sail never to be heard from
again. Supposedly, the 'Templar Treasure', the principal collection of cash, was not captured by Philip
IV, but may have been smuggled to the fleet. Could the fleet have taken refuge in Scotland?

Bruce had fought against Edward I and Edward II for years. Things were actually going his way, when in
1314 Edward II gathered a great host, numbering at least double Bruces men as well as being composed
of a great number of mounted knights, of which Bruce had only a handful. The two armies met at
Bannockburn, a few miles from Sterling Castle. The Scots force was mostly composed of foot soldiers
armed with pikes and bowmen. The battle raged all day, with the British having trouble breaking Bruces
squares. The British were still a fight force, if a very frustrated one, when all of a sudden a 'fresh force' of
troops came charging onto the field. The British then panicked and fled from the field. This is usually
credited with a group of camp followers who grabbed makeshift weapons, made banners from sheets,
and charged into the fray. It seems a little unlikely that the British army would be fooled into thinking
this was a fresh force. Also, since the British had withstood Bruce's foot soldiers attacks earlier in the
battle, why would another attack from the same cause panaick. However, what if this 'fresh force' were a
small contingent of Knights Templar, taking refuge with Robert Bruce? A group of the most highly
trained and motivated knights in all of Christendom charging into a battle that was already going badly
could have provided the panic that the British army suffered.

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Guardians of The Most Holy Grail

Mt Signeur Castle, the Grail Castle?

Wolfram von Eschenback wrote his poem Parzifal in 1220. The knights who guard the Holy Grail, the
Grail castle, and the Grail family are Templars. This was written when Templar fortunes, economic and
spiritual, were at their height. Of course, Templars were just not around in the times of King Arthur (the
period when the Grail legends take place). Eschenback, it is suggested, was attempting to tell us that the
Grail (whatever it might be), was still with us, in the time that he was writing, and guarded by Templars.

I don't have the space to go fully into this here, but in books by Michaale Baigent, Richard Leigh and
Henry Lincoln a byzantine plot arises. The Templar knights are at its center along with the Holy Grail.
Or should we refer to it as Holy Graal, from sang raal, or the Holy Bloodline. That is to say the bloodline
of Christ, which the Templars were assigned to protect. And this, not greed on Philip IV's part, brought
about their downfall. Everything is revealed in the small village Rennes-Le-Chateau in France. Hidden in
strange encryptions around the town is a secret. What that secret is composed of is the principal mystery.
Suffice to say, this is the best of all the Templar myths and my own personal favorite. Read the books
(see my Reference page for titles).

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