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Secrets of the Knights Templar

Background of the Knights Templar

In 1118, King Baldwin II receives an offer of assistance from a Crusader monk, Hugues de Payens, who wants to protect pilgrims traveling to the Holy Places (Holy Land). Hugues, along with eight other knights, form the Order of the Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon. From humble beginnings, the number of knights soon swells to thousands of members.

The Roman Catholic church officially recognized the Templars in 1129 and it added to their already growing power. Many non-fighting knights were wealthy businessmen in their communities and were credited with forming the modern day banking industry.

The Knights Templar prayed 7 times each day and spent most of their time training to fight. The knights were forbidden to retreat unless ordered to do so, and only then when they were outnumbered 3 to 1. Their motto was "Death in battle is glorious." They were greatly feared in battle because they weren't likely to abandon a fight.

In addition to their hand-to-hand combat skills, they had a horseback fighting formation known as the Squadron Charge. To accomplish this they would run at an enemy's line in a V-shaped formation, easily dividing the enemy's number and defeating them.

Templar Knight

"Death in battle is glorious."  The red cross represented martyrdom. Drawing by

"Death in battle is glorious." The red cross represented martyrdom. Drawing by

Betrayal of the Highest Order

The Knights Templar were a very powerful group, which made certain people in power worried; namely King Philip IV of France.After centuries of fighting in the Holy Land, Europe was tired of losing money and their men to what seemed like an unending war. King Philip seized his opportunity to end the fighting and erase his debt by destroying the Templars.

On what is believed to be Friday the 13th in the year 1307, the King had all of the Templars arrested for crimes against the crown. Specifically, they were charged with heresy, sodomy, devil worship and financial blackmail. The majority ofTemplars were tortured and burned at the stake, though it is believed some of them were able to escape into neighboring countries. In 1314 Pope Clement V officially disbanded the Knights, and thus began the endless speculation about any remaining Templars hiding and the tremendous wealth that seemed to disappear when they were disbanded.

The Legends Begin

The disappearance of the Knights Templar is akin to what it would be like today if all of the CEOs in the United States were simply rounded up and killed. There would be chaos on many levels and much knowledge would be lost. This is what it would be like back in the Middle Ages, only there wouldn't be the ability to disseminate the information quickly. This is why there is so much speculation about what happened and why the tales have grown wilder through the centuries. When information is spread by word of mouth, something is always lost in the translation.

The Holy Grail

One of the biggest mysteries of the Knights Templar is that of the Holy Grail. There are two schools of thought on what the Holy Grail actually is:

Some scholars believe that the Holy Grail (San Grael) is either a plate or chalice that Jesus drank from at the last supper. If it does exist, it probably isn't made of gold or other precious metals and gems since he was a simple man.

Another school of thought is that the Holy Grail is not an item, but a person- the offspring of Jesus. This idea arose from two simple words and how they have been disciphered over time. San Grael or Sang Rael mean two different things. In the case of Sang Rael, it would mean Royal Blood.

Baphomet Means Sophia

Dr. Hugh Schoenfield, a dead sea scholar, used the Atbash Cipher to discover the hidden meaning of the word Baphomet used by the Knights Templar. The Atbash Cipher is a reverse-alphabet cipher. The word baphomet translates to the word "Sophia." Dr. Schoenfield describes his theory in his book, The Passover Plot.

Sophia was a Greek goddess of the Gnostics. It was believed that she was a figure that was greater than Jesus and that she came to earth in the form of Mary Magdeline. If Jesus married and had children with Mary, she would be the Holy Grail. Some texts describe Jesus as having several children; a boy named James and a daughter, also named Sophia.

John the Baptist's Head

Yet another story has Baphomet meaning John the Baptist's head. In this scenario, theTemplars are worshipping the mummified head of John the Baptist in their ceremonies. This would be considered idol worship and blasphemy. After the fall of the Templar's, this head was taken out of England to an unknown location.

The Masonic Connection

The final story that continues today is the existence of the Free Masons. It is believed that the surviving Templars traveled through a series of safe houses, or Frere Maisons (brother houses). They supposedly created their secret hand gestures for the purpose of identifying members. This is why it is believed that the Freemasons are the true descendants of the Knights Templar and have continued to wield the wealth and power of a bygone era through secrecy.

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lelisa birhanu on April 17, 2012:

It's very interesting!

Allie on March 03, 2011:

Does anyone know if there are any modern archaeological finds that have to do with the Knights Templar? Also, are there any sites where any artifacts were found in the past, in not so recent times? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Charlotte Gerber (author) from upstate New York on November 09, 2010:

Hi Stephen, I'm not familiar with the story about the book. If you know the name of the show you saw, please feel free to share the name or link to it here. Thanks!

Stephen on November 08, 2010:

I seen a documentary on the Knights Templar which mentioned that they supposedly stole some ancient book which was meant to hold information on magic spells and all the hidden secrets of the meaning of life, time and existence itself. The book was also classed as the Holy Grail and apparently they attempted to kill off anyone having knowledge of this book so as to keep the information to themselves and use it for corrupt purposes, wealth and power.

Ron Gawthorp from Millboro, Virginia on July 11, 2010:

Great hub. Thanks! Love those stories.

Patrick Bernauw from Flanders (Belgium) on April 02, 2009:

Very interesting! I'm going to link this one to my Grail, Holy Blood & Templar Hubs... because the real Grail, of course, is in Bruges! (Flanders, Belgium)

Patrick Bernauw from Flanders (Belgium) on April 02, 2009:

Very interesting! I'm going to link this one to my Grail, Holy Blood & Templar Hubs... because the real Grail, of course, is in Bruges! (Flanders, Belgium)

desert blondie from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen on November 11, 2008:

The tradition of prayer and fight training seems reminiscent of warriors of the far east at the same period of time. Interesting summary of the templar legends we've heard so much about recently.

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