Founding of the Knights Templar


     Founding of the Knights Templar
 
       The First Crusade
 
(1) Call for a Holy War
"In medieval Europe "the ethics of the ruling class remained those of
the Nibelungenlied and the Icelandic sagas.  As late as the tenth century
a heathen religious order called the Joms-Vikings appeared in Scandinavia,
restricted to warrior s of proven bravery who submitted to a harsh
discipline, sleeping in barracks without women.  Death in battle was their
dearest ambition - to join Woden in Valhalla.  The House-Carles who gave a
grim an account of themselves at Hastings had been foun ded by King Sweyn
Forkbeard, a former commander of these Jomsburg brethren, and many
European noblemen had Scandinavian blood.  The traditions of the northern
war-band were very much alive in the twelfth century and the chansons de
geste expressed th e same pagan ideals: physical prowess, the joy of
plunder and the duty of revenge."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
 
The followers of the Warrior Cults of Northern Europe were feared for
their frenzied ferocity in battle.  Operating under a patchwork of
warlords, they stood in the way of a pacified and united Europe operating
under the Holy Roman Empire.
 
"The church tried desperately to stop the unending bloodshed.  An early
expedient was the 'Truce of God', specified days on which noblemen wore
not to fight.  The long-term policy was chivalry, an attempt to tame
murderous instincts by providing a Christian ideal of the warrior;
ultimately knighthood, originally a reputation for skill in battle, became
almost a religious calling, hallowed by quasi-sacramental rites -vigils,
weapon blessings, even vows of chastity.  The code of the Germanic
comitatus gave way to one of prayerful self-sacrifice, which exalted the
protection of the defenseless."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
 
"A knight must be merciful without wickedness, affable without treachery,
compassionate towards the suffering, and open handed. He must be ready to
help the needy and to confound robbers and murderers, a just judge without
favour or hate. He must prefer death to dishonour.  He must protect the
Holy Church for she cannot defend herself."
- Chrétien de Troyes, Lancelot (Vulgate Cycle)
 
"Sagas were replaced by romances of King Arthur and Amadis of Gaul, the
berserk transformed into Don Quixote.  It was an example of the Catholic
Church at her syncretic best, civilizing the barbarian invaders of the
Roman Empire.  But this process took centuries so there was urgent need of
another, quicker solution."
 
"The ascetic impulse produced a papal revolution.  Gregory VII (1073-85)
set the papacy firmly on a course towards the position of leader and judge
of Western Christendom, demanding that temporal power be subordinated to
spiritual  just as the body depends on the soul, envisaging a papal army,
the militia Sancti Petri.  Europe listened to the priest-kings with new
respect.  When in 1095 Pope Urban II called upon the faithful to recover
Jerusalem - occupied by the Moslems since 638 - his appeal inspired
extraordinary enthusiasm.  Palestine's importance was heightened by the
new appreciation of Christ's humanity; the scenes of the Passion were
still pointed out at Jerusalem.  That His City should belong to infidels
was contrary to the la w of God.  And Holy War would provide a magnificent
outlet for the destructive energy of barbarous nobles.
 
"These saw the crusade as a summons by God to render military service and
also as an opportunity to win new manors in the way they had been won in
England and southern Italy.  Shouts of 'Deus li volt' resounded throughout
Europe and a great host of warlike pilgrims from all classes converged on
the Holy Land singing the ancient, triumphant hymn 'Vexilla regis
prodeunt':
'Behold the royal ensigns fly,
The Cross's shining mystery;
Where Life itself gave up its breath
And Christ by dying conquered death...'
Its tune was an old marching song of the Roman legion."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
 
"The knighthood which had taken part in the first Crusades had been made
up of acquisitive groups of warriors who hunted together, and who
subordinated individual courage to the joint discipline of the pack.  By
the end of the thirteenth century this earlier knighthood, which had been
taunted by St Bernard for its greed, its vanity, its evil violence, had
begun to give was to the literary idea of knighthood as an individual
quest, a kind of lay parallel to the divine pilgrimage of the monks.  The
knight-errant who sought 'adventure' in a personal search which was often
connected with worldly, erotic experience had little in common with the
violent sinners who sought to purge grave sins by taking the cross."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians
 
"Jerusalem was stormed in July 1099.  The rabid ferocity of its sack
 
showed just how little the Church had succeeded in Christianizing
atavistic instincts.  The entire population of the Holy city was put to
the sword, Jews as well as Moslems, 70,000 men, women and children
perished in a holocaust which raged for three days.  In places men waded
in blood up to their ankles and horsemen were splashed by it as they rode
through the streets.  Weeping, these devout conquerors went barefoot to
pray at the Holy Sepulcher before rushing eagerly back to the slaughter."
 
"Those who stayed in Palestine were adventurers, mainly French, with
nothing to go back to, and the state they created reflected the feudalism
of their own land."
 
"The king dressed in a golden burnous and keffiyeh and gave audiences
cross-legged on a carpet.  Nobles wore shoes with up-turned points,
turbans, and the silks, damasks muslins and cottons that were so different
from the wool and furs of France .  In the towns they lived in villas with
courtyards, fountains and mosaic floors, reclining on divans, listening to
Arab lutes and watching dancing girls.  They ate sugar, rice, lemons and
melons and washed with soap in tubs or sunken baths, while t heir women
used cosmetics and glass mirrors, unknown in Europe.  Merchants, grown
accustomed to bazaars, veiled their wives, and professional wailers were
seen at Christian funerals.  Coins had Arabic inscriptions.... The
climate, with its short but s tormy winters and long sweltering summers,
and the new diseases, caused heavy mortality despite Arab medicine.  The
majority of the population was Moslem. Life, perpetually overshadowed by
the sinister specters of death, torture or slavery, could onl y be endured
by men of strong self-discipline."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
 
"Once you know that the Church is being continually worn down by such a
succession of disasters and by so many deaths of the sons of God as a
result of the oppression of the pagans, we believe that not one of you
will lie low. We urge you . . to do your utmost to defend your brothers
and to liberate the Churches."
- Pope Calixtus II, 1123
 
 
(2) A New Order is Created
"The Templars came into existence in Jerusalem during the aftermath of the
First Crusade.  Their Order of Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon grew
from a group of pious soldiers who fathered in Jerusalem during the second
decade of the twelfth century.  They undertook the duty of protecting
pilgrims on the dangerous roads between Jaffa, where they landed on the
coast of Palestine, and Jerusalem.  They lived under the religious rule
known as that of St Augustine, and they had help and guidance from the
canons of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians
 
"In 1104 the Count of Champagne had met in conclave with certain high-
ranking nobles, at least one of whom had just returned from
Jerusalem...Also present was the liege lord of Andre de Montbard."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail
 
"Immediately after this conclave Hughes traveled to the Holy Land, where
he remained until 1108.  He returned there briefly in 1114, than went back
to Champagne and donated the Clairvaux site to St. Bernard.  Four years
later - according to the official story - his vassal and possible
relation, Hughes de Payens, with André de Montbard and seven companions,
set out on their mission and formed the embryonic Knights Templar.  In
1125 Hughes of Champagne himself joined the new Order."
- Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, Turin Shroud - In Whose Image? The
  Shocking Truth Unveiled
 
Hughes de Payens, also from Champagne, was a member of a cadet branch of
the Counts of Troyes.
 
"A document of 1123 refers to Hughes as 'Master of the knights of the
Temple' ['Magister Militum Templi'] - it is perhaps significant that
'Magister Militum' had been the title of the commander-in-chief of the
later Roman Empire] but his little band was merely a voluntary brotherhood
and recent research seems to indicated that they were having difficulty in
finding recruits and were on the verge of dissolution.  Hughes had come
about another crusade, not to ask for a rule.
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
 
"The Templars "chose the name militia templi - soldiers of the Temple -
after the temple supposedly built by Solomon in Jerusalem, near which they
had been assigned quarters by the King."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood
 
The full original title of new order was Pauperes commilitones Christi
Templique Salomonis, the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of
Solomon.
"Their first duty was to protect the road to Jerusalem, but it was not
long before they assumed the role of a volunteer police force."
- Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the
  True Grail
 
"Certain noblemen of knightly rank, devoted to God, professed a wish to
live in chastity, obedience and without property in perpetuity, binding
themselves in the hands of the lord patriarch to the service of Christ in
the manner of secular canons.  Among these, the first and most important
were the venerable men, Hughes de Payens and Godefroi de Saint-Omer.
Since they did not have a church, not a settled place to live, the king
[of Jerusalem, Baldwin II] conceded a temporary dwelling to them in his
palace, which he had below the Temple of the Lord, to the south
side.... The first element of their profession enjoined on them for the
remission of their sins by the lord patriarch and the other bishops, was
that they should protect the roads and routes to the utmost of their
ability against the ambushes of thieves and attackers, especially in
regard to the safety of pilgrims."
- William, Archbishop of Tyre
 
"King Baldwin welcomed the religious knights and gave them quarters in the
eastern part of his palace, which stood on the supposed site of King
Solomon's Temple and adjoined the former Al-Aqsa Mosque; in the same area
the canons of the Holy Sepulcher gave them stabling for their horses."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians
 
 
(2) The Prieure de Sion
"There was a secret order behind the Knight's Templar, which created the
Templars as its military and administrative arm.  This order, which has
functioned under a variety of names, is most frequently known as the
Prieure de Sion ('Priory of Zion')."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail
 
"Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln uncovered evidence of a conspiracy surrounding
the Order of Sion (sometimes referred to as the Order of Our Lady of
Sion), which involved a number of families from Champagne.  This, they
claim, was behind the founding of the Templars.  The prime mover in these
events was Hugues, Count of Champagne, who was instrumental in founding
the Order and who eventually joined the Templars himself in 1125.  Some
historians believe that Hugues was related to Hughes de Payens - the
records are sketchy - but he certainly was his feudal lord."
- Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, Turin Shroud - In Whose Image? The
  Shocking Truth Unveiled
 
"Certain writers have suggested that the Templars were 'infected' with the
Johannite or Mandaean heresy - which denounced Jesus as a 'false prophet'
and acknowledged John [the Baptist] as the true Messiah.  In the course of
their activities in the Middle East the Templars undoubtedly established
contact with Johannite sects..."
- Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail
 
"The Grand-Pontiffs of this sect [the Johannites] took the title of
Christ, and laid claim to an unbroken chain of succession in their office.
At the time of the foundation of the Order of the Temple (AD 1118), the
Grand-Pontiff was named Theocletes; he was acquainted with Hugo de Payens
and initiated him into the mysteries and privileges of his Church,
promising him the sovereign priesthood and supreme government, finally
designating him as his successor."
- Kenneth Mackenzie, The Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia
 
At least two alleged Grand Masters of the Prieure de Sion showed an
involvement in Johannite-related activities.  The allegation that Hughes
de Payens was secretly a Johannite was repeated in the nineteenth century,
first by the Vatican and later by the Theosophists.
 
"The Johannites ascribed to Saint John [the Baptist] 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.  He who, at the period of the of the foundation of the Order of
the Temple, claimed these imaginary prerogatives, was named THEOCLET; he
knew HUGHES DE PAYENS, he installed him into the Mysteries and hopes of
his pretended church, he seduced him by the notions of Sovereign
Priesthood and Supreme royalty, and finally designated him as his
successor."
- "Allocution of Pio Nono against the Free Masons"
 
"The true version of the history of Jesus, and the early Christianity was
imparted to Hugh de Payens, by the Grand-Pontiff of the Order of the
Temple (of the Nazarene or Johannite sect), one named Theocletes, after
which it was learned by some Knights in Palestine, from the higher and
more intellectual members of the St. John sect, where were initiated into
its mysteries.  Freedom of intellectual thought and the restoration of one
and universal religion was their secret object.  Sworn to the vow of
obedience, poverty, and chastity, they were at first the true Knights of
John the Baptist, crying in the wilderness and living on wild honey and
locusts.  Such is the tradition and the true kabalistic version."
- M. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled
 
 
(3) A Secret Objective?
"When the crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099, they heard from such Jews
as remained in the city that the Holy of Holies was right there in the
Dome of the Rock.  The crusaders mistakenly identified the Moslem Dome of
the Rock with Solomon's Temple."
- Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the
  True Grail
 
"In 1118, nine Knights Crusaders in the East, among whom were Geoffroi de
Saint-Omer and Hughes de Payens, consecrated themselves to religion, and
took an oath between the hands of the Patriarch of Constantinople, a See
always secretly or openly hostile to that of Rome from the time of
Photius.  The avowed object of the Templars was to protect the Christians
who came to visit the Holy Places: their secret object was the re-
building of the Temple of Solomon on the model prophesied by Ezekiel."
- General Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma
 
"The real task of the nine knights was to carry out research in the area
in order to obtain certain relics and manuscripts which contained the
essence of the secret traditions of Judaism and ancient Egypt, some of
which probably went back to the days of Moses...There is no doubt that
[they] fulfilled this particular mission and that the knowledge obtained
from their finds was taught in the oral tradition of the Order's... secret
circles."
- Gaetan Delaforge, The Templar Tradition in the Age of Aquarius
 
In the 1960's "Louis Charpentier... in two books not remarkable for the
clarity of their ideas, claimed that the Templars were despatched to the
Holy Land by St Bernard to fetch the Ark of the Temple of Solomon back to
Europe.  His evidence that they were successful in this enterprise is the
building of the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, which the Templars financed
partly with silver produced by the practice of alchemy, partly with more
silver which (three centuries before Columbus) they imported from the
Americas, and disembarked at La Rochelle!"
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians
 
"...A number of  Jewish and Islamic legends spoke of a sealed and secret
passage beneath the Well of Souls leading into the bowels of the earth,
where the Ark supposedly been concealed at the time of the destruction of
Solomon's Temple - and where many believed that it rested still, guarded
by spirits and demons."
 
It is "highly probable that Hugh de Payens and his backer the Count of
Champagne could...have been motivated by a desire to find the Ark - and
that they could have established the Templars, and taken control of the
Temple Mount, in order to achieve this goal.
"If so, however, then they failed in their objective.  In the twelfth
century, as one expert put it, 'the asset value of a famous relic was
prodigious'.  Possession of a relic as uniquely significant as the Ark of
the Covenant would, in addition have brought enormous power and prestige
to its owners.  From this it followed, that if the Templars had found the
Ark, they would certainly have brought it back to Europe in triumph."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
 
 
(4) The Templar's Architectural Skills
"On the other side of the palace [i.e., the Al-Aqsa Mosque] the Templars
have built a new house, whose height, length and breadth, and all its
cellars and refectories, staircase and roof, are far beyond the custom of
this land.  Indeed its roof is so high that, if I were to mention how high
it is, those who listen would hardly believe me."
- Theorderic (1174)
 
"Clearly he had regarded the Templars' architectural skills as almost
supernaturally advanced and had been particularly impressed by the soaring
roofs and arches that they had built.... Soaring roofs and arches had also
been the distinguishing fe atures of the Gothic architectural formula as
expressed at Chartres and other French cathedrals in the twelfth century -
cathedrals that...were regarded by some observers as 'scientifically...
far beyond what can be allowed for in the knowledge of the epoch' [Louis
Charpentier, The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral]."
 
"...What if, in their excavations on the Temple Mount, they had unearthed
scrolls, manuscripts, theorems or blueprints relating to Solomon's Temple
itself?  What if these discoveries had included the lost architectural
secrets of geometry, propo rtion, balance and harmony that had been known
to the builders of the pyramids and other great monuments of antiquity?
And what if the Templars had shared these secrets with Saint Bernard in
return for his enthusiastic backing of their order?"
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
 
St. Bernard, the patron of the Templars, "played a formative role in the
evolution and dissemination of the Gothic architectural formula in its
early days (he had been at the height of his powers in 1134 when the
soaring north tower of Chartres cathedral had been built, and he had
constantly stressed the principles of sacred geometry that had been put
into practice in that tower and throughout the whole wonderful
building)."
"Gothic architecture...had been born at Chartres cathedral with the start
of construction work on the north tower in 1134.... In the years
immediately prior to 1134 Bernard had cultivated a particularly close
friendship with Geoffrey the Bishop o f Chartres, inspiring his with an
'uncommon enthusiasm' for the Gothic formula and holding 'almost daily
negotiations with the builders themselves'."
When asked "What is God?" Bernard replied "He is length, width, height and
depth."
"The entire edifice had been carefully and explicitly designed as a key to
the deeper religious mysteries.  Thus, for example, the architects and
masons had made use of gematria (an ancient Hebrew cipher that substitutes
numbers for the letters of the alphabet) to 'spell out' obscure liturgical
phrases in many of the key dimensions of the great building.  Similarly
the sculptors and glaziers  - working usually to the instructions of the
higher clergy - had carefully concealed complex messages about human
nature, about the past, and about the prophetic meaning of the Scriptures
in the thousands of different devices and designs that they had
created." (For example a tableau in the north porch depicts the removal,
to some unstated destination, of the Ark of the Covenant - which is shown
placed upon an ox-cart.  The damaged and eroded description, "HIC AMICITUR
ARCHA CEDERIS" which could be "Here is hidden the Ark of the Covenant".)
 
"In 1139, Pope Innocent II (whose candidacy, incidentally, had also been
enthusiastically backed by Saint Bernard), granted the order a unique
privilege - the right to build their own churches.  This was a privilege
that they subsequently exercised to the full: beautiful places of worship,
often circular in plan like the Temple Church in London, became a hallmark
of Templar activities."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal
 
"The great effort of the Order was the transfer of funds and men to the
east.  They erected numerous building in the west - preceptories,
churches, granges - for training and administration, but these were humble
and utilitarian in nature, with a few exceptions.  There was no standard
form of Templar church: a very few, curricular or polygonal, recalled the
shape either of the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem (the 'Temple of God' of
the Templar seal) or of the octagon of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at
Jerusalem.  But most Templar churches were orthodox apsidal structures."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians
 
 
The Rule of St. Bernard
(1) A Powerful Champion
 
"Every brother who is professed in the Holy service should, through fear
of the flames of Hell, give total obedience to the Master; for nothing is
dearer to Jesus Christ than obedience, and if anything be commanded by the
Master or by one to whom he has given his power, it should be done without
demur as if it were a command from God . . . for you must give up your own
free will."
- The Rule of the Templars, as recorded by scribe John Michael at the
  Council of Troyes, 1128
 
"When the Knights Templar were founded in 1118-1119 in Jerusalem, it was a
'poor order' whose primary function was the protection of pilgrims along
the main roads between the coast at Jaffa and the inland city of
Jerusalem.  But an important tra nsformation took place when this nascent
Order came under the patronage of St Bernard of Clairvaux, nephew of Andre
de Montbard, one of the founding group of the Templars.  Until his
conversion at the age of twenty, St Bernard himself had been destin ed for
a knightly career, and when he came to patronize the Knights Templar that
Order was imbued with the ideals and convictions of the knightly class of
Burgundy."
- Edward Burman, The Assassins - Holy Killers of Islam
 
"It was Hugues of Champagne who donated the site of Clairvaux to Bernard,
where he built his abbey and from whence he expanded his 'empire'.  He
became the official 'sponsor' of the Templars, and it was his influence
that ensured papal recogniti on at the Council at Troyes, this being the
capital of Hughes' land.... It was a disciple of Bernard's, Pope Innocent
II, (formerly a monk at Clairvaux) who freed the Templars from all
allegiance to anyone except the Pope himself."
- Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, Turin Shroud - In Whose Image? The
  Shocking Truth Unveiled
 
In 1128, Bernard of Clairvaux "was just twenty-eight years old when the
Council of Troyes asked him to help create a Rule for the Templars.  He
did more than that.  He became their most vocal champion, urging that they
be supported with gifts of land and money and exhorting men of good family
to cast off their sinful lives and take up the sword and the cross as
Templar Knights."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood
 
"St Bernard, who took a strong liking to Hughes, recognized a means of
channeling the feudal nobility's surplus energy which would convert
'criminals and godless, robbers, murderers and adulterers'.  He promised
Hughes that he would compile a rule and find recruits.  'They can fight
the battle of the Lord and indeed be soldiers of Christ'.  Military
Christianity had found it real creator."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
"Indeed, the knights of Christ fight the battles of their lord in safety,
by no means fearing to have sinned in slaying the foe, nor fearing the
peril of their own deaths, seeing that either dealing out death or dying,
when for Christ's sake, co ntains nothing criminal but rather merits
glorious reward. On this account, then: for Christ! hence Christ is
attained.  He who, forsooth! freely takes the death of his foe as an act
of vengeance, the more willingly finds consolation in his status as a
soldier of Christ.  The soldier of Christ kills safely; he dies the more
safely.  He serves his own interests in dying, and Christ's interests in
killing!"
- St Bernard
 
Bernard "urged young men to take up the Templar sword, comparing the
Templar's holy way of life, so pleasing to God, to the degenerate ways of
the secular knights, whose lives were dedicated to vanity, adultery,
looting, and stealing, with many sins to atone for.  The dedication to
Christ, to a life of chastity and prayer, to a life that might be
sacrificed in battle against unbelievers, was enough penance to atone for
any sin or any number of sins.  On that  basis, Bernard appeared to scel
eratos et impius, raptores et homicidas, adulteros, 'the wicked and the
ungodly, rapists and murderers, adulterers', to save their own souls by
enlisting as Kings of the Temple.  That guaranteed absolution was also a
way out for those suffering under decrees of excommunication.  The taking
of the Templar oath would evidence submission to the Church, and the
supreme penance of a lifetime at war for the True Cross would satisfy
God's requirement for punishment of the contrite."
- John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword (1991)
 
"The warriors are gentler than lambs and fiercer than lions, wedding the
mildness of the monk with the valour of the knight, so that it is
difficult to decide which to call them: men who adorn the Temple of
Solomon with weapons instead of gems, with shields instead of crowns of
gold, with saddles and bridles instead of candelabra: eager for victory --
not fame; for battle not for pomp; who abhor wasteful speech, unnecessary
action, unmeasured laughter, gossip and chatter, as they despise al l vain
things: who, in spite of their being many, live in one house according to
one rule, with one soul and one heart."
- St Bernard
 
"Another pools of recruits was provided by the poor knights who lacked the
funds to acquire horses, armor, and weapons.  All of those things would be
given to them upon their entry, along with personal attendants and
servants.  They were certain of adequate food and a place in which to
live.  Their self-respect, no matter how low it might have sunk, would be
instantly restored.... (A heavy war-horse cost roughly the equivalent of
four hundred days' pay for a free laborer)."
- John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword (1991)
 
"By the thirteenth century...an aspirant was required to be a knight, the
son of a knight and his lady.  Villein descent was a bar to entry as a
knight; it was also a bar to the priesthood, so the Military Order was no
exception.  An excommunicated aspirant was to be brought first to the
bishop and he could be received  into the Order only if the bishop would
absolve him.  It seems from the Statues of the Order that recruiting went
on among knights who had been found guilty of serious moral offenses, a
well-known rule in the French version directs to Templars to frequent and
recruit from gatherings of excommunicated knights.  That the Latin version
of the rule gives the directly opposite injunction, not to frequent such
gatherings, probably  shows the tension between the official clerical
attitudes to the Order and the vernacular military culture which lay
alongside it.  Opinion was divided to the end; at the time of the trial
and dissolution of the Order it was being said that it was a disgraceful
thing that robbers worthy of death had been admitted to the Order."
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians
 
"Have I not been obedient to the Rule? The Rule is the bones of my body,
it runs from my feet to my head, and it is in my arms; these fingers,,,The
Rule is my marrow. Am I not also garbed in the Rule,for it tells me what I
wear.  The Rule is within me and about me. It is my hand when I fight and
tells me what my weapons are. Within and Without."
- William Watson
 
 
(2) Initation Rites
"The admission of postulants took place at weekly chapters. If a majority
of the brethren agreed, the candidate was brought into the chapter to be
examined by two or three senior brothers. If his answers were
satisfactory, which meant that he wa s a free man, noble, fit and of
legitimate birth, he was brought before the master..."
- Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the
  True Grail
 
"The initiation ceremony, over which great secrecy prevailed, took place
almost invariably in a copy of the rotunda of the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher in Jerusalem.  Many Templar churches and chapels were build
round with this in mind, and in their center, as at the Templar Vera Cruz
Church of Segovia in Spain, there was often an actual model of the tomb of
Christ, in the form of a two-storied structure with steps leading up.  At
some stage the special ceremony was devised for initiated members of the
order whereby they were given a momentary glimpse of the supreme vision of
God attainable on earth, before which they prostrated themselves in
adoration."
- Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?
 
"Knights were initiated into the temple in a secret ceremony held at night
in the guarded chapter house.  The great prior would ask the assembled
knights several times if they had any objections to admitting the novice
to the order.  Hearing none, he reviewed the rules of the order and asked
whether the novice had a wife and family, debts or disease, and if he owed
allegiance to any other master. Having answered in the negative, the
novice knelt, asking to become a 'servant and slave' of the temple and
swearing obedience by God and the Virgin Mary."
- Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects
 
"During the ritual of admission to the Order, reference was made to the
immortality of God and so to the intactness of the Son of God.  John of
Cassanhas, Templar Preceptor of Noggarda, tells how the leader of an
admission ritual declares, 'Believe thou in God, who has not died and will
never die.'"
 
"When the moment came for the postulant to take his vows, he was required
to place his hand not on the Bible, which was the usual practice, but on
the Missal open at the point in the Mass where the body of Christ is
mentioned.  Several brother priests, such as Bertrand de Villers and
Etienne de Dijon, both from the diocese of Langres, said that at the point
in the Mass where the Host is consecrated they were told to omit the words
Hoc est enim corpis meum."
"...He then vowed... to follow the usage and custom of the house; and to
help to conquer the holy Land.  After this he was formally admitted to the
order, and the white mantel was placed on his shoulders.  The brother-
priest then spoke Psalm 133:"
- Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the
  True Grail
"Ecce quam bonum et quam jocundum habitare fratres in unum - Behold how
good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes.
It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the
LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore."
- Psalms 133 - a song of ascents (of David)
 
According to George Sassoon (co-author of the Manna Machine, this psalm
refers to a ritual relating to the mana machine, a high tech device which
purportedly fed the ancient Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.
Imbued with mysterious powers, it was venerated as the Ark of the
Covenant.
 
 
(3) Poverty and Brotherhood
Based on the Cistercian rule, "first came the three basic monastic vows of
chastity, poverty and obedience.  Chastity took count of both sexes.  No
Templar was to kiss or touch any woman, not even his mother or sister.
Even conversation with any woman was discouraged, and often forbidden.
Templars wore sheepskin drawers that were never to be removed.  (The Rule
ordered that Templars should never bathe, so the ban of the removal of
drawers was seen as support for the prohibition of sexual activity.)  No
Templar was to allow anyone, especially another Templar, to see his naked
body.  In their dormitories, lamps burned all night to keep away the
darkness that might permit or encourage homosexual practices, a constant
concern in all-male societies, including monasteries."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood
 
"An emphasis on silence, even to the extent of using signs in the
refectory, came from the same source, while the simplicity of Cistercian
altar furnishings was paralleled by the plainest weapons and saddlery
possible, with no trace of gold or s ilver....Religious services
alternated with military exercises.  There were two main meals, both eaten
in silence with sacred reading from a French translation of the Bible,
special emphasis being placed on the Books of Joshua and the Maccabees.
All found inspiration in the ferocious exploits of Judas, his brothers and
their war-bands, in reconquering the Holy Land from cruel infidels.
Brethren ate in pairs to see that the other did not weaken himself by
fasting.  Wine was served with every me al and meat three times a week;
their mortification was the rigors of war.  Each knight was allowed three
horses but with the symbolic exception of the lion, hawking and hunting
were forbidden.  He had to crop his hair and grow a beard.... His Master
was not merely a commanding officer, but an abbot.  For the first time in
Christian history soldiers would live as monks."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War
 
The shield of the Templars was exactly that of Sir Galahad, the
Christianized Grail Hero - a pure white background emblazoned with a large
red cross.
 
"The Templars' emblem was a horse carrying two knights, a symbol of
poverty and brotherhood.  Bernard clearly viewed his rough-hewed band more
favorably than he did rich secular knights, noting that Templars were seen
'rarely washed, their beards bushy, sweaty and dusty, stained by their
harness and the heat'.  The Knights Templars wore white mantels emblazoned
with a red cross and rode to battle behind a white and black banner called
the Beauseant, after the piebald horsed favored by the order's founders.
The same word became their battle cry."
- Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects
 
"Instant obedience to his superiors was required of every Templar, and
since the order was responsible to on one but the pope, it essentially
created its own system of punishments, up to the death penalty, for
disobedience.... Templars were allowed no privacy, and if a Templar
received a letter it had to be read out loud in the presence of a master
or chaplain."
"On the battlefield the Templars were not permitted to retreat unless the
odds against them were at least three to one, and even then they had no
right to retreat unless ordered to do so.... Men who joined the Templar
order fully expected to die in battle, and most of them did."
- John J. Robinson, Born in Blood
 
"A Cistercian thinks of cutting down a tree as prayer, given the right
conditions, and the Templar had a similar attitude towards a Moslem.  In
St Bernard's words 'killing for Christ' was 'malecide not homicide', the
extermination of injustice rather than the unjust, and therefor desirable;
indeed 'to kill a pagan is to win glory for it gives glory to Christ'....
Death in battle meant consecration as a martyr, a road traveled by 20,000
Templars, knights and sergeants in two hundred years of war." "Bernard's
genius had transformed a Germanic warrior cult into a religious vocation
just as pagan gods had been metamorphosed into saints and fertility rites
into Christian festivals.  Christ had ousted Woden."
- Desmond Seward, The Monks of War