9.07 Knights Templar

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The Knights Templar, also known as the Order of the Temple, the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon,  or simply the Templars, was a Christian military order of the Roman Catholic Church whose allegiance was to The Pope. Founded in 1119, the Order grew rapidly, becoming the most wealthy and powerful organization in the known world. In 1120, King Baldwin II of Jerusalem  granted the Templars headquarters in the royal palace of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is believed to be the ruins of the Temple of Solomon, hence the Templars original name (i.e., The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon). The Templers were highly organized, had a strong chain of command, and retained a major presence in almost every country in Europe. During the Order's peak, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 Templars existed of whom only a tenth were actual knights. Naturally, this begs the question: Who were the other 90% of the Templers? Considering the Templar’s intimate relationship with banking, espionage and the country of Switzerland, it’s highly likely that the Knights Templars were an elite group of Jewish men hand chosen by the Roman Empire. Around 1240, Alberic of Trois-Fontaines described the Templars as an "order of bearded brethren" as it was customary for members of the Order to wear long and prominent beards. Beards are a staple of Jewish men, especially in Switzerland, and it’s highly likely that they have changed their customs since. After the alleged Fall of the Roman Empire, Europe lay in ruins due to centuries of war. Rising from the ashes was the Knights Templar, concentrating wealth and bringing about new order based on banking and military domination. In short, the creation of the Knights was the begging of Switzerland and the modern world post-Rome. As depicted in the book by Tim Champlin entitled “Treasure of the Templars” (2001), the Templar’s used their treasure to recreate the Holy Roman Empire. Although the book is touted as fiction, the Templers did in fact create the global version of the Roman Empire, albeit in a disguised form. In other words, the Knights Templar via Switzerland, the main proxy state of the Roman Empire, brought order out of chaos and created the Europe and world we see today. In the book “The Revenge of the Shadow King” (2006), authors Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis describe an alternative history whereby the Knights Templar still exist and operate today from the shadows of an underground organization. This notion is in fact true as the CIA of Switzerland retains command and control of the underworld from their underground base in Basel, Switzerland. The order has gone by a number of aliases, including but not limited to:
the Knights of Christ, the Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Order of the Temple of Solomon.

Special Forces
The
Knights Templar were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades and were often used as shock troops (i.e., Special Forces) in key battles. While on their warhorses, the heavily armored Knights Templar would routinely charge the enemy in an attempt to break its line. They were an elite fighting force that heavily armored, highly trained, and highly motivated. One of the tenets of Templar Knight was that they were forbidden from retreating in battle, unless they were outnumbered three to one or if the Templar flag went down. Only after all flags had fallen were they allowed to leave the battlefield. Even then, they were only allowed to surrender only by order of their commander. This uncompromising principle, along with their reputation for courage, made the Templars one of the most feared combat forces in medieval times. The red Roman Cross that the Templars wore on their robes was a symbol of martyrdom. They considered death in combat a great honor that assured them a place in heaven. In 1139, Pope Innocent II's Papal Bull entitled “Omne Datum Optimum” exempted the Knights Templar from obeying local laws and local governments. This ruling meant that the Templars could pass freely through all borders, were not required to pay taxes, and were exempt from all authority except for that of the Pope. Its standing army, although it had no defined mission, could pass freely through all borders of all counties. Naturally, the Templars disregard for the law heightened tensions among Europe’s nobility. Nonetheless, they acted with impunity. According to modern historical accounts, the “Templars were indicating an interest in founding their own monastic state, just as the Teutonic Knights had done in Prussia and the Knights Hospitaller were doing in Rhodes”. The Templars “monastic state” eventually became known as Confoederationis Helveticae, otherwise known as Switzerland. Interestingly, Switzerland is the only “neutral” country on Earth. Consequently, they are except from war, the biggest burden and tax of all.

Knight Templar of Switzerland
The
Knights Templar were known for their white mantles with a red cross, symbols and colors which are clearly depicted on the flag of Switzerland today, albeit the colors are reversed. The notion that the Knights Templar established a state in Switzerland is corroborated by numerous scholars who believe that the “Templars fled into the Swiss Alps”. Consequently, historical records from that time state that Swiss villagers suddenly becoming very skilled military tacticians. When Leopold I of Austria and 5,000 of his knights were attempting to take control of the St. Gotthard Pass in Switzerland, “His force was ambushed and destroyed by a group of about 1,500 Swiss peasants.” Needless to say, 1,500 peasants could never defeat 5,000 highly skilled knights. Therefore, it’s highly likely that the Swiss peasants were not peasants but rather Knights Templars pretending to be peasants. Prior to the dissolution of the Knights Templar in 1307, the Swiss had no military and no military experience. However, after the infamous battle against Leopold I of Austria, the Swiss suddenly became renowned and seasoned fighters. Swiss legends states that there were "armed white knights" who came to help them in their battles. Interestingly, on the list of Knights Templar sights in Europe and the Middle East, the country of Switzerland remains mysteriously blank. In what appears to be a hoax designed to hide the fact that the Knights Templar fled to Switzerland, a conspiracy theory was promulgated via the book “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” (1982) that the Templars used a fleet of 18 ships to escape from France. According to witness Jean de Châlon, he "heard people talking that [Gerard de Villiers had] put to sea with 18 galleys, and the brother Hugues de Chalon fled with the whole treasury of the brother Hugues de Pairaud”. In short, Châlon’s brother was allegedly on a fleet of 18 ships laden with Templar treasure that set sail from La Rochelle, France just prior to a global warrant being issued for the arrest of the Order in October of 1307. The 675 year-old witness and potential destination of the ship were designed to be a red herring in respect to the true location of the Templars. Lastly, in a bid to further disguise the Knights Templar’s escape to Switzerland, Freemasonry incorporated Templar symbols and rituals in a number of their Masonic bodies since the 18th century. The most notable is the "Order of the Temple", commonly known as the Knight Templar, the final degree in "The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta". Since there is “no known historical evidence” to link the medieval Knights Templar to Masonic Templarism, the degree and title were created in order to pay tribute to provide historical cover for the country of Switzerland by openly associating the Knights Templar with Freemasonry. Therefore, whenever an wherever the Knights Templar are discussed, Freemasonry is automatically brought into the conversation.

Birth of Banking
Due to the wealth the
Knights Templar confiscated during their centuries of conquests, the non-combatant Jewish members of the Order began to develop a massive economic infrastructure within Europe, creating financial techniques that became the earliest forms of banking. Although the primary mission of the Order was militarial, only 10% of its members were combatants. The others 90% acted in support positions to assist and manage the Templars ever-growing coffers. In 1150, the Templars began generating letters of credit for pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. In short, pilgrims deposited their valuables with a local Templar preceptory (bank) before leaving. In turn, they received an official document stating the value of their deposit. When they returned from the Holy Land, they would use the official document to retrieve their funds in an amount of treasure of equal value. This innovative arrangement was an early form of banking that led to the formal system known today as checks. In time, the Templars established financial networks across the known world. They acquired large tracts of land, bought and managed farms and vineyards, built castles and churches, became involved in manufacturing, both import and export, and purchased their own fleet of ships. At one point, they even owned the entire island of Cyprus. Consequently, the Order of the Knights Templar arguably became the world's first multinational corporation. The Templars involvement in banking grew to the point where they began to practice usury, charging interest on money lent. Although the idea of usury was forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church, the Templars circumvented this law via legal loopholes, retaining the rights to the production of mortgaged property. According to a Templar researcher, "Since they weren't allowed to charge interest, they charged rent instead”. Templar usury is evident to this very day in Basel, Switzerland which is home to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the mother bank of all central banks. In short, the BIS creates money out of noting and then charges countries (and their respective populations) interest on it, keeping them in a perpetual state of debt. Since interest rates can always be manipulated, no country can ever escape from their current status of slavery, no matter how hard they work.

Knights Templar Merger   
At dawn on Friday, October 13, 1307,
King Philip IV of France ordered that member of the Knights Templars be simultaneously arrested. The arrest warrant began with the phrase: "Dieu n'est pas content, nous avons des ennemis de la foi dans le Royaume", meaning "God is not pleased. We have enemies of the faith in the kingdom”. Although only conjecture, the call for the arrest of the warring faction of the Templars was likely made after the Templar leaders realized they had been double-crossed by the non-warring faction of the Templars in Switzerland. At the Council of Vienne in 1312, Pope Clement V issued a series of papal bulls, including “Vox in excelso, which officially dissolved the Knights Templar, and “Ad providam”, which turned over their assets to the Knights Hospitallers who also fled to Switzerland.  The  leaders of the Knights Templar, Grand Master Jacques de Molay and Geoffroi de Charney, the Preceptor of Normandy, were both declared guilty of heresy and burned alive at the stake in Paris on March 18, 1314. With the Order's leaders gone, the remaining Templars which were arrested were released or absorbed by the Knights Hospitaller . Modern historical accounts state that the dissolution of the Templars was in essence a merger of the two orders. Since the Knights Hospitaller and the Knights Templar both escaped to Switzerland, the merger of the Order was in essence the birth of Switzerland as an international power.

Knights Templar in Popular Culture
Modern day tributes to the Knights Templar are found in books, films, music, television and video games throughout popular culture, including but not limited to:
Books: Crusade of Fire: Mystical Tales of the Knights Templar (2002), a book on the Knights Templar by Katherine Kurtz; Foucault's Pendulum” (1988), a novel by Umberto Eco, which features the mythos of the Knights Templar as keepers and defenders of the Holy Grail; Holy Blood, Holy Grail” (1982), a book by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln;Ivanhoe” (1820), a novel by Sir Walter Scott, whose villain Sir Brian de Bois-Gilbert is a "Templar Knight”;  “Knights of the Blood” (1993), a book on the Knights Templar by Katherine Kurtz; “Knights of the Blood: At Sword's Point” (1994), a book on the Knights Templar by Katherine Kurtz;Les Rois Maudits” (1973), or “The Accursed Kings”, a book by Maurice Druon which depicts the death of the last Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templar; Mumbo-Jumbo” (1972), a novel by Ishmael Reed featuring a Templar Knight named Hinkle Von Vampton who serves as the main villain; “On Crusade: More Tales of the Knights Templar” (1998), a book on the Knights Templar by Katherine Kurtz; “Tales of the Knights Templar” (1995), a book on the Knights Templar by Katherine Kurtz;The Da Vinci Code” (2003), a novel by Dan Brown; “The Kingdom at the End of the Road” (2000), a book about the Knights Templar by Jan Guillou; “The Knight Templar” (1999), a book about the Knights Templar by Jan Guillou; “The Last Templar (2005), a novel by Raymond Khoury; The Lost Symbol” (2009), a novel written by Dan Brown; “The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids” (1855), a short story by Herman Melville which treats the Templars with great irony; “The Pegasus Secret” (2005), a book  about a Templar aide by Gregg Loomis; The Revenge of the Shadow King” (2006), by book Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis depicting an alternate history of the Knights Templar in which they still exist and operate today from the shadows of an underground organization; The Road to Jerusalem” (1998), a book about the Knights Templar by Jan Guillou;The Templar Legacy” (2006), a book about Templar Treasure by Steve Berry; “The Templar Treasure” (1993), a book on the Knights Templar by Katherine Kurtz; “Treasure of the Templars” (2001), a book by Tim Champlin about a  Templar plot to use treasure to finance the recreation of the Holy Roman Empire; Films: Arn – The Kingdom at Road's End” (2008); Arn – The Knight Templar” (2007); “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989);Ironclad” (2011);Kingdom of Heaven” (2005); “Le Pacte des loups” (2001); National Treasure (2004); “Night of the Seagulls” (1975);Return of the Blind Dead (1973); “Revelation (2001); “The Ghost Galleon (1974); “The Minion” (1988); and “Tombs of the Blind Dead” (1971); Music: The Templars (1991-Present), an Oi! band from New York City which was inspired by the Knights Templar; HammerFall (1993-Present), a Swedish band, refer to themselves as "The Templars of Heavy Metal", making frequent reference to the Templars on many of their albums; and the Knights of the Cross” (1998); an album about the Templars by German metal band Grave Digger; Television:Carnivàle” (2003-2005); and The Last Templar” (2009); and  Video Games: Aion '​s” (2008); Assassin's Creed” (2007-2014); Assassin's Creed III” (2012); “Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag” (2013); Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse” (2013); Broken Sword: The Angel of Death (2006);Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (1996); Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (2003); “Deus Ex” (2000); Dragon Age” (2009-2011); Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned” (1999); “Infinity Blade” (2010); “Infinity Blade 2” (2011);Knights of the Temple II” (2005); Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade” (2004); “Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader” (2003); “Medieval II: Total War” (2006); "Starcraft" (1998-2001); Time Gate: Knight's Chase (1996); The First Templar” (2011); The Secret World” (2012); and Warhammer 40,000” (1987-Present).