Skip to comments.Who Were The Knights Templar? (Sunday History Read)
Posted on 07/21/2002 10:01:31 AM PDT by Hacksaw
The Knights Templar were a monastic military order formed at the end of the First Crusade with the mandate of protecting Christian pilgrims on route to the Holy Land. Never before had a group of secular knights banded together and took monastic vows. In this sense they were the first of the Warrior Monks.
From humble beginnings of poverty when the order relied on alms from the traveling pilgrims, the order would go on to have the backing of the Holy See and the collective European monarchies.
Within two centuries they had become powerful enough to defy all but the Papal throne. Feared as warriors, respected for their charity and sought out for their wealth, there is no doubt that the Templar knights were the key players of the monastic fighting orders. Due to their vast wealth and surplus of materials the Templars essentially invented banking, as we know it. The church forbade the lending of money for interest, which they called usury. The Templars, being the clever sort they were, changed the manner in which loans were paid and were able to skirt the issue and finance even kings.
They were destroyed, perhaps because of this wealth or fear of their seemingly limitless powers. In either case, the order met with a rather untimely demise at the hands of the Pope and the King of France in 1307 and by 1314, "The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon" ceased to exist.
Although originally a small group of nine knights, they quickly gained fame largely due to the backing of Bernard of Clairvaux and his "In Praise of the New Knighthood". Bernard at that time was often called the Second Pope and was the chief spokesman of Christendom. He is also the one responsible for helping to draw up the order's rules of conduct.
In European political circles, they became very powerful and influential. This was because they were immune from any authority save that of the Papal Throne. (Pope Innocent II exempted the Templars from all authority except the Pope.) After the crusades were over, the knights returned to their Chapters throughout Europe and became known as moneylenders to the monarchs. In the process many historians believe they invented the Banking System. The Templars fought along side King Richard I (Richard The Lion Hearted) and other Crusaders in the battles for the Holy Lands.
The secret meetings and rituals of the knights would eventually cause their downfall. The King of France, Philip the Fair used these rituals and meetings to his advantage to destroy the knights. The real reason for his crushing the Templars was that he felt threatened by their power and immunity. In 1307, Philip, who desperately needed funds, to support his war against England's Edward I made his move against the Knights Templar.
On October 13th, 1307, King Philip had all the Templars arrested on the grounds of heresy, since this was the only charge that would allow the seizing of their money and assets. The Templars were tortured and as a result, ridiculous confessions were given. These confessions included:
Trampling and spitting on the cross
Homosexuality and Sodomy
Worshipping of the Baphomet
Philip was successful in ridding the Templars of their power and wealth and urged all fellow Christian leaders to do the same thing. On March 19th, 1314 the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake. De Molay is said to have cursed King Philip and Pope Clement as he burned asking both men to join him within a year. Whether he actually uttered the curse or if it is simply an apocryphal tale what remains as fact is that Clement died only one month later and Philip IV seven months after that.
The secret stuff does keep me from applying for membership however.
In its most basic sense, Christianity gives every individual worth and value they never had before in the ancient world, and the emigrant Irish monasteries were a way of recivilizing and rechristianizing Europe amid the Dark Ages.
My copy was a gift from my father, whose recommendations are normally gospel, and the only reason it is not still half-read on my nightstand is because I got rid of the nightstand. Of course, he now claims that "Oh, no, Eco is a fraud", in response to my offering that "Eco is supposed to be a deep thinker, so maybe I missed something..."
Note that this is a man who thought that notes from Martin Heidegger's lectures weren't worth the paper he had written them on.
It was. 2000+ years ago, it was exported from Southern Brittan.
The majority of the Founding Fathers were Masons. The majority of the Presidents were Masons. One large advantage of becoming a Mason is that you move in very "connected" circles, both at the local level, and regional and national levels. As you saw by my smileys, I was being facetious -- don't underestimate the political and financial power of FreeMasonry. I just never had the interest to "push" myself forward that much.
1. Frederick William von Steuben, a Mason, was an army officer and aide-de-camp to Frederick the Great of Prussia. Von Steuben became a Major General during the Revolution and was known as the "drill master of the Continental Army."
2. John Jay, right and in the foreground, then Secretary of State, later became a Supreme Court Justice.
3. John Adams was the first Vice President and became the second President of the United States .
4. Henry Lee, a Mason, was known as "Light Horse Harry Lee" because of his brilliant cavalry operations in the Revolutionary War. He was also the father of General Robert E. Lee.
5. Robert R. Livingston, a Mason, was Chancellor of the State of New York and Grand Master of New York Masons from 1784 to 1800. He is to Lee's right, by the railing.
6. Samuel Otis, Secretary of the Senate, holds the Bible from St. John's Lodge No. 1, New York City.
7. George Washington, a Mason, stands with his right hand placed on the Bible.
8. Morgan Lewis, a Mason, was Grand Marshall during this ceremony and later became a Major General in the War of 1812. He was elected Grand Master of New York Masons in 1830.
9. Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg, a Mason, appears in a gold-colored coat. Born in Pennsylvania, he was educated in Germany as a Lutheran clergyman and was the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.
10. Arthur St. Clair, a Mason, is dressed in military uniform. He was born in Scotland and came to America with the British Army in 1757 only to become a Major General in the Continental Army. At the time of the inauguration, he was the Governor of the Northwest Territory.
11. George Clinton, next to St. Clair, was Governor of New York at the time of the inauguration.
12. Henry Knox, a Mason, was a close adviser to Washington and a Major General and Chief of Artillery in the Revolutionary Army. He is to the far right in the painting and was Secretary of War at the time of Washington's first inauguration.
Indeed we pay for the sins of our fathers, as actors unaware we caught up in the whirlwinds of a self-inflicted paranoid delusion in a quest for significance and meaning.
An unending jihad to destroy the 'evil ones', flinging glorified feces at each other in a primal territorial war of ideology.
Evil is mans deep recognition and eager exploitation of his fellow mans psychological weakness, his vice, his vanities and the thirst for revenge against forces he deems responsible for his own powerlessness.
Doctoral supremecy measured not in terms of truth, but in terms of functionality: does it achieve dominance by any means.
Our holy grail is an irresistable, unassailable, impervious ideology that will eradicate every source of these mystical aberrations, to end the haunting of ourselves.