Author Archives: economicdeveloper
Prologue The Ninth Templar Story Revised for Publication
A Brief History of the Knights Templar 1099-2007
After Jerusalem fell to the crusaders in 1099, most of the crusaders who did not return to their homelands they stayed in the Outremer (the Holy Land) to protect their gains and find all the remaining wealth as payment for their time. The crusaders had also been granted absolution by the Pope for their conquest and capture of Jerusalem. Many of the men that took part in the first crusade were criminals and lowly born pheasants with no noble rank. In addition, they needed to hold their lands so that they did not fall back into Muslim control.
Sir Hugh De Payen was the vassal servant of the Count of Champagne and he was sent to the Holy Land with a contingent of Knights (mostly his family and close friends) to take part in the crusades on behalf of his feudal Lord. Many believe the Count of Champagne, who was a very learned and worldly man, and as such entertained nobles from far away lands. These nobles had told Count Hugh of Champagne many stories of the secret wealth of the Jews being hidden under the old original Temple of Solomon. Thus he sent his best warrior and some men to find the treasure and keep their mission a secret only between himself and Sir Hugh de Payen. He left on the first crusade and fought for over twenty years across the Holy Land until the capture of Jerusalem.
The Knights Templar were formed following the First Crusade, and although they disbanded in the 1300s, they are still the focus of myth and legend. But how much do you know about the history of the mysterious Knights Templar?
After the success of the First Crusade where Jerusalem was reclaimed from the Muslims, several groups of pilgrims from various places in Western Europe started to journey to the Holy Land. It was not an easy journey as many people were killed while crossing the Muslim-controlled territory. Sometime in the year 1118, Hugues de Payens, a knight from France, together with his eight relatives and friends, founded a military order, which they called the Poor Knights of the Temple of King Solomon, which was later renamed the Knights Templar. They were supported by the king of Jerusalem, Baldwin II and Temple Mount (King Solomon’s Temple Site) became their headquarters. They vowed to protect the Christians visiting the Holy Land. It was here that many believe the secret plan was then implemented. The men would provide safe passage for Pilgrims and guard the routes to and from Jerusalem. In addition, it is believed by some scholars that their excavation of the Original Temple Site began and took approximately eight years to carry out. Then in 1128 Hugh de Payen made some discovery that caused him much concern and he deviated from their original plan and immediately went back to Christendom, but instead of seeking out the Count of Champagne, he went to see Abbot Bernard de Clairvaux. Bernard de Clairvaux was one of the early leaders of the Cistercian order of monks. He was also related to Hugh de Payen and some of his knights.
Bernard de Clairvaux felt that whatever that Hugh de Payen’s showed him created so much intrigue and value to Christianity that it needed to be safe guarded even from his own Vatican. He asked the Pope to allow for the establishment of the Knights Templar to carry out what he saw as a holy mission that God has preordained needed to be brought to fruition. He championed the creation of the Knights Templar Order as the Guardian of that purpose and the protector of the secrets uncovered and discovered. It was rumored that Bernard de Clairvaux was worried that the Vatican would attempt to subvert the true identity and legacy of Christ because it may have been vastly different than the Catholic doctrine that the Papacy had put forth. Bernard de Clairvaux became known as the Doctor of the Church and Pope maker, a very prominent and powerful church scholar and he later was Sainted.
Religious leaders initially criticized the need for such a powerful military order within the church itself. However, by 1129 they were given the formal endorsement by the Catholic Church. The Templars took vows of poverty, their order was allowed to accrue land and wealth and they received not only lavish donations from many regions of Europe but also found new recruits from the nobles that wanted to gain prominence. The knights likewise adopted a more Spartan code of conduct called the Rule of Seventy Two, which stated all conduct and rigorous doctrine for their daily lives. The Knights started wearing what would become their signature garment: white habits decorated with a splayed red cross on their chest. At their height the Templars had more men at arms than any single Monarch and they were the very best warriors on the battlefield. They had a strict military command hierarchy that gave them precise battlefield tactics. They constructed vast castles and established over ten thousand estates across Christendom, each producing yet more wealth for the combined use of the order.
They became known as fierce warriors for the major battles they fought during the Crusades. They were not allowed to retreat from battle unless outnumbered four to one. The Templars were not allowed to be held for ransom, so they held no value as captors. This begun their legend of fighting to the death and with such ferocity that it scared their opponents. The money that the Templars brought in allowed them to furnish their knights with the best heavy armor, weapons and horses of their day. The Templar charge was alleged to have made the earth tremble from the power and weight of their Knights on horseback. This shock and awe power was used to rout many of their opponents. With donations continuing to pour in, they set up a banking system so that religious pilgrims could deposit assets while still in their home country, and withdraw funds when they reached Jerusalem. This was the first known use of lines of credits. The Templars gained huge financial wealth from large donations and several business ventures. During the height of their power, they owned several fleet of ships, were the primary lenders to the nobles and monarchs of Europe and even owned the island of Cyprus. It was estimated that they held more wealth than the Church itself and all the Monarchs of Europe combined. This did create some very serious jealousy and contempt for them from those that owed them vast sums of money.
The Muslim soldiers regained Jerusalem in the latter part of the 12th century and changed the course of the Crusaders’ history. The Muslims were able to force the Knights Templar to relocate a number of times, and with the Europeans’ dwindling support for the military campaigns in Jerusalem, the popularity of the Templars began to wane as well and people questioned the Vatican about the need for their continued existence. They also started to have skirmishes with other Christian military orders, and participated in battles that were unsuccessful. Around 1303, they no longer had a foothold in the Muslim world, and their base of operation was moved to Paris. They faced another adversary in Philip IV (known as Phillip the Fair for his vanity), the king of France, who wanted to bring them down. It could be because the Templars refused to grant him additional loans on top of his other loans or it could be because the Templars were interested in forming their own state somewhere in the southeastern part of France. He feared it would be in the old Cathar region since the Templars had been known supporters of the Cathars in and around Carcassonne France.
The last grand master of the Knights Templar was Jacques de Molay. He was arrested together with approximately sixty other Knights on October 13, 1307. They were charged with numerous offences, such as financial corruption, fraud, homosexuality, spitting on the cross, devil worship and heresy. Most were tortured brutally and questioned under duress, many of the Templars, including de Molay, confessed initially to end their suffering. It is estimated that during this brutal betrayal approximately six hundred knights had been captured across Christendom. Some of the Templars were burned at the stake in Paris because they recanted the confessions they made earlier when they were tried. De Molay was also burned at the stake on March 18, 1314. The Pope at that time was Clement V. Clement was a childhood friend of King Phillip IV and was the Cardinal that King Phillip supported after the death of the earlier Pope under suspicious terms while he was held captive by Guillame de Nogaret (King Phillips Chief advisor). Clement then moved Vatican operations to Avignon France so that the Rome location did not fall to the Ottomans and Muslims that were invading and raiding the Spanish and Italians at the time. He previously raised concern about the secret initiation rites conducted by the Knights Templar and actually ordered an inquiry of his own. In 1312 King Philip convinced the Pope to dissolve the Knights Templar and allow for his forgiveness of any debts owed to himself and all the other Monarchs at the time.
The Knights Templar: Do they still exist today?
The Knights Templar were thought to have been disbanded some 700 years ago officially upon the death of their 23rd Grand Master Jacques de Molay. However, there are those who believe that the order still exists and has just gone underground. In the 18th century, the Freemasons and some other organizations resurrected some of the traditions and symbols of the medieval knights to keep their legend known. In recent years, stories surfaced, many of which found their way into books and films. Some say that the Knights Templar, while headquartered at Temple Mount, dug up the Holy Grail. Another story said that they have kept a secret that could destroy the Catholic Church.
The Great Diaspora- (scattering of the Knights and their possessions) did take place as most scholars generally agree, that the Templars managed to disperse most of their portable wealth before the King’s henchmen came to confiscate it. The Templars had a vast network of knights and members at the time, approximately 160,000 folks. Indeed, the royal agents found all the monasteries had in large part been abandoned and left desolate… they found the Templar ships had all set sail and not even been recorded by departure or destination. Other smaller Templar fleets in the south and north of France, Flanders, and Portugal also left ports – and sailed into legend. … Also missing from the Templars’ strongholds were the documents and records of the former empire of the Order. Thus the mystery is secured and the conspiracy to both destroy them, loot their treasury and uncover and possibly destroy any evidence that did not benefit the Vatican was avoided by the Templars own failsafe plans for such deceit and treachery.
To provide for their new secret infrastructure of the new form of the Order as a secret society, and with no more Holy wars to wage, the Templars fell back on their second career, finance and trade. In addition, many believe they revisited their original plan to establish their own kingdom in Christendom, but one where they could control their own destiny without regard for the intervention of other Monarchs or the Vatican’s control.
Naturally, most of the Templar wealth was out in the fields as working assets earning them income on crops, trade, and money affairs. This new model of revenue for the order… needed many new forms of secret infrastructure to allow it to continue to flow for them. Much of their revenue was transferred to their new Headquarters in Tomar Portugal, where they had not been persecuted. Also, besides the 18 ships that escaped from the port of La Rochelle in 1307, the vast majority of Templar ships, both merchant vessels and armed galleons… would surely have been doing what the Templars did best – plying the seas of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, earning money to keep the order financially sound by arranging for commerce transactions.
Finally the Conspiracy Mystery is Uncloaked:
On 20 August 1308, Pope Clement V secretly absolved the Knights Templar of the charges brought against them by the Inquisition and supported by King Phillip IV.
The Knights Templar had been one of the largest of the medieval Catholic military orders and had acquired a great deal of political and financial influence in Europe. French King Philip IV, who owed the Templars a significant amount of money, used rumors about the secret rituals of the Templars to bring charges of heresy against them so that his debts could be erased. He wanted to suppress the Templars in Europe and to obtain their wealth for himself, a fortuitous windfall he felt he was worthy of for bringing their Satanic rituals to the attention of the Pope. He brought a good deal of pressure upon the Pope Clement V to support his attacks against them. Many believe since Clement feared if he did not go along he to might meet the same fate as his predecessor. Originally the Pope had hoped to merge the Templars with the Knights Hospitaller Order in order to preserve the military presence that the Vatican could use at their disposal if any Monarchs saw fit to oppose Vatican authority. But the Templars wanted no part in that scenario. The Hospitallers went on to be the muscle that the Vatican and in particular the Jesuit Order utilized to torture, kill and punish those that the Inquisition found guilty during the great inquisition period. This stigma haunted and tainted the Knights Hospitaller Order so much that they changed their name to the Knights of Malta to try to down play the carnage and brutality that their Hospitaller Order came to be known for. The Templars for their part did not trust or regard the Hospitallers very highly and there was a very significant discord between the two orders. The Templar assets that the Vatican did find or control at the time of their disbanding in 1312 were all turned over to the Hospitallers by the Vatican to reward them for their loyalty to the Church.
The Chinon Parchment reveals that Pope Clement V gave the Grand Master of the Templars and other heads of the Templar Order absolution from the charges of heresy and permission to receive the sacraments. At this time, Clement still hoped to be able to save the Templars from the wrath of Philip IV. However, Philip threatened military action against Clement if he did not dissolve the Templars and at the Council of Vienne in 1312, Pope Clement V issued the bull Vox in excelso – which abolished the Order of Templars on the grounds of the many scandalous accusations which had been brought against them. It was known to the Pope that these charges were not substantiated or truthful but many believe he chose to ignore that so that the Papacy could remain in tact and out of harms way from Phillip IV, the most powerful of the Kings in Christendom. Though, Clement V also noted that his decision to abolish the Templars [was] not without bitterness and sadness of heart. His deceit and complicity none the less were sealed by his act of doing nothing to do what was right and just.
In 2001 the Vatican Secret Archives re-discovered the Chinon Parchment of 1308 AD, in which Pope Clement V absolved the Knights Templar and their last official Grand Master Jacques de Molay of all charges brought against he and the entire Order of the Templars. The Chinon 1308 Papal decree “extended the mercy of pardon from excommunication”, thereby “restoring to unity with the Church and reinstating to the communion of the faithful and the sacraments of the Church”. (Another Chinon Parchment was already known to historians, published in 1693 and 1751 AD, containing the same wording.)
In 1311 AD, the Council of Vienne held in Dauphine further ratified the Chinon Parchment, voting to continue the maintenance of the Templar Order.
In 1312 AD, however, under extreme pressure from French King Philip IV, and after many unsuccessful attempts to merge the Templars with the Order of Hospitalliers to preserve them, Pope Clement V issued the Papal Bull Vox in Excelsis, that is believed to have suspended the Order, and Ad Providam, which redistributed most Templar assets (those that were held by the Vatican) to the Hospitalliers (Knights of Malta) and other orders. Although this has been interpreted as “dissolving” the Order, the Vox in Excelsis Bull explicitly stated that it was “not by definitive sentence”, and it was in fact only a dismantling of the infrastructure of the Knights Templar Order as devised by the Vatican originally. Many feel that this wording allowed for the secret preservation of the order even within the walls of the Vatican, where the Templars still had many Cardinals and supporters that were known close confidants, especially those within the Cistercian Order of Monks.
Post Diaspora Theoretical History of The Knights Templar and their Families
It is relatively impossible for an order with the size, power and wealth of the Knights Templar to just vanish over night, so the conundrum is where did they go and how did they hide so many with so much so well? That remains the question that most scholars cannot answer with certainty.
AD March 18, 1314- The Last known Grand Master Jacques de Molay is burned at the stake on the lle des Juifs a small island in the Seine river across from Notre Dame Cathedral. Some believe that he secretly conveyed his Grand Master rights by official charter of transmission to the Templar priest that heard his last confession, Father Jean-Marc Larmenious, so that the succession of Grand Masters would not be broken.
AD 1314- Rumors that some elements of the Templars have fled to Scotland and were in armed support of King Robert the Bruce in his defense against the English are raised. Legend has been said to bring forward that a group of heavily armed knights charged out of the woods at the battle of Bannockburn and routed the huge English army by shock and awe of their heavy cavalry and fighting ferocity, thus establishing King Robert the Bruce as rightful King of Scotland.
AD 1315- The Battle of Morgarten at Gothard Pass where a small force of 1500 lightly armed peasants defeated the enormous army of some 5,000 heavily armed mounted knights of Austrian Habsburg Duke Leopold I, who was trying to establish a short invasion route to Italy. Legend says the Templars trained and directed the ambush of the far superior Austrian forces. This led to the formal establishment of Switzerland, which is the oldest democracy still in continued existence. Many of the Swiss ideals are directly related to Templar philosophies and symbols yet today. Switzerland was a mountainous region directly adjacent to France and easily accessible to the fleeing Templars and could be resupplied from Italy from their ports. This was what some believe as the establishment of the Templar Kingdom within Christendom that many of them had wanted rather than to try to reconquer the Holy Land as Jacques de Molay had desired. Switzerland was difficult to invade and had rough terrain and was isolated from Rome and the others Monarchs.
AD 1319- The Order of Christ is founded in Tomar Portugal by King Dinis and he allows it be established as the new home of the Templars HQ.
AD 1347- King Magnus Eriksson of Sweden charters the first entity to establish a perpetual ownership of a mining operation, and thus the concept of a Corporation is created. His line was directly connected and in support of the Templars according to history. This concept of a body of anonymous ownership collective was a Templar design. The perfect way to invest money anonymously without giving away identities and thus creating a risk of detection, it allowed them to make money and invest money in many operations around the world and create even larger financial wealth for themselves.
AD 1397- The first modern bank is established in Venice, by Giovanni Medici, a known Templar family in a strong Templar operational base. The Venetians built most of the Templar ships and many believe Venice was the naval port the Swiss Templars utilized for sea access to and from their inland empire in Switzerland. It was from this that the first modern bonds were sold to finance new investments and pay off war debts and paying interest to the bond shareholders was established. This as yet another Templar banking concept.
AD 1446-Rosslyn Chapel is constructed by the Scottish Sinclair family a long-standing Founding member of the Templar order. Many believe the clues to the Templar secret history were etched into the intricate designs and that even some Templar archives were hidden there. Others believe it was the Templar’s plan to create a red herring to throw most anyone off their real trail if they were being sought out for further persecution.
AD 1415- Prince Henry the Navigator born from a Templar led the Portuguese exploration of the Americas and created the first school of exploration by the sea.
AD 1492- Christopher Columbus also believed to have been a Templar was exploring looking for a route to the spice islands but rediscovered North America some say by reading secret Templar maps from earlier voyages taken from their Northern bases of Operation in Scotland and Scandinavia.
AD 1519- Magellan also from a Templar family known as a navigator led the first successful round the world voyage and opened up new discoveries including the cape of Africa and the Indian ocean islands and Asian routes. This gave the Templars vast new unchartered lands to develop and create revenue from by developing infrastructure there and also keeping them out of reach of the Monarchs of Europe.
AD 1602- The Dutch East India Company is formed and stocks are able to be traded or exchanged at varying values within a controlled center of commerce (stock exchange). This is also a Templar Concept so that they can invest their vast sums of monies in multiple commerce operations across many kingdoms eventually and attract new ideas worthy of investment to their awareness. Establishing the first of many stock exchange houses across Europe and eventually the world. The perfect intelligence gathering apparatus for investing anonymously in all types of operations and secretly amassing huge sums of wealth in plain sight.
AD 1609- Royal Bank of Amsterdam is formed and begins to take deposits and make loans with interest, highly linked to the same members that founded the Dutch East India Company alleged to be from Templar families.
AD 1668- The First Central Bank is formed again a major Templar Concept for organizing a vast banking empire that is growing immensely in popularity and profits and creating sway and influence that is unrivaled even by the Vatican and the Rulers of Europe. This bank was again formed in Sweden as the Riksbanken creating a central currency for trade and commerce.
AD 1741- Swiss Private Banking is borne officially with the launch of the Wegelin Private Bank. This is the birth of the secretive Swiss banking system renowned worldwide for their secrecy and security in the most violent and inhospitable of times. All, of these are Templar founding ideals of their order. The Swiss position of maintaining their fierce neutrality and forming a common and mobile means of defense against any invaders is also a Templar concept. The Swiss Redoubt of defense fortifications was the design to protect Switzerland from any invader and provide that all able bodied men under age fifty should have military training and keep weapons at their homes for instant mobilization if the defense of their country was necessary.
AD 1804- Emperor Napoleon restores the Ordre du Temple as a direct rebuke to the French Kings before that had caused the Order’s demise. This has now been utilized as the foundation of the modern Templar Order reconstitution of being publicly visible. Subsequently the Templar’s officially set up operational facilities in Jerusalem, London, Geneva, Portugal and America and now in several other countries expanding the order once again along the original ideals. Including becoming a chartered recognized NON-Governmental Organization holding stature within the United Nations and being the only military and Christian order recognized by all the Royal Houses of Europe and Scandinavia today as men of nobility.
AD October 25, 2007- The Vatican declares the Templars were innocent of all allegations and absolves the Templars of all crimes against the church with a full 700 years too late pardon of their grave mistake and heinous act against the followers of Christ. This is due to a document found by a Vatican Archives researcher, which indicated that the Pope knew of their innocence in 1307-1314 but turned his head as the atrocities that were committed against the order. Thus sealing the fact that their demise was indeed a conspiracy to over throw the Order and defrock them of their wealth, title and honor. The great mystery of what they discovered however remains the whisper of speculation still today.
The secrets have not been made public if they are known to the Modern Order and those that may have survived of the secret families within the original noble order have never broken rank as to the “Great Treasure that the Knights Templar Order was established to preserve and protect for humanity against all that would seek to subvert and/or misuse such knowledge to their own worldly gains.”
The Secrets have created an enormous amount of historical and scholarly Conjecture:
The identity of the ninth founding member of the order has never been established to this day. The name of Hugh de Payen and his seven other named founders are well documented. But the historical records always state that there are nine founding members of which one has been kept anonymous. Why would Hugh de Payen immediately need such secrecy? Many believe the Ninth Templar original member was kept secret to allow for the guardianship of the secrets even from those within the order itself, and that this kinship and lineage of guardianship is another secret that exists within the most secretive and powerful order ever established through out history.
Another major point of curiosity is exactly what did Sir Hugh de Payen find under King Solomon’s Temple that changed him and his purpose so radically? Whatever it was had such significant worth and merit that he immediately raced back to Europe to meet with the most knowledgeable clergyman of his time, Abbott Bernard de Clairvaux, and the Abbott was so moved he wrote to the Pope asking and beseeching the Vatican to provide special protection and commissioning endorsement for Sir Hugh de Payen and his knights. No order had ever been granted so much autonomy by the Vatican ever before. They did not pay taxes to any monarch and did not tithe to the church. In addition the Templars could cross borders without any permission required from Feudal lords and owed no fealty to any monarch. They were allowed to have their own priests that did not come under the auspices of the other orders within the church. This gave the Templars complete autonomy from any outside influence and thus the ability to conduct their operations and duty without prejudice, which Abbott Bernard de Clairvaux maintained was paramount to their ability to fulfill their destiny. The major question then is so just what did Hugh de Payen discover under King Solomon’s Temple that created so much necessity that it should create so much responsibility and independence so much so that the Vatican allowed for these special rules? Many speculate that the significance was so vast that it swayed the most powerful organization of those days on the planet, the Vatican to give them never before special privileges. The list of beliefs and legends include; the identity of Christ and his special relationship to Mary and his supernatural status with God. Some belief it was alien artifacts used by Solomon to control magical powers such as alchemy, wisdom and knowledge of universal significance and immortality. The most popular are the actual Holy Grail or chalice that Christ drank from and blessed the Disciples with at the Last Supper and the very Ark of the Covenant itself. Another very interesting legend is that Christ himself wrote a gospel explaining everything that man needed to know about God, the Afterlife, the Universe and our existence that would allow mankind to become more understanding of God and his actual designs and desires for humanity. This Lost Gospel of Christ may contradict many of the religious views of current religions including the Vatican, so it would not necessarily be viewed as being something that would lead to the furtherance of the Catholic Church’s doctrine. The Knights became very wealthy very quickly so some believe that they found the hidden treasury of the Jews and possibly the Phoenicians. The speculation of what was found if anything at all is far reaching. The truth is it could be all of the above, some of the above or none of the above. That is the foundation to the intrigue behind the great conspiracy theorists views. The thirst for this information by society is almost insatiable. Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code sold over 5,000,000 copies, Raymond Kourey’s The Last Templar sold over 5,000,000 copies, Steve Berry’s book the Last Templar has sold over 2,000,000 copies and the list goes on. The tale of the Knights Templar has spawned numerous books, legends, documentaries and feature movies. The Fan blogs dedicated to this subject get regular unique visitors of between 15,000 to 100,000 per year. So, in spite the antiquity to the tale the modern public has continued to remain fascinated with it.
The tale of what they found and why they were forced to hide it is a story of great fascination because it includes murder, conspiracy, deceit, betrayal and secrecy that has evaded mankind for nearly nine hundred years, until now. What if the story came out today and had real merit? How would those in power react to such new knowledge and how would such powers be used if they were indeed supernatural and so powerful as many have speculated? Where is the guardian the Ninth Templar today does he still exist and if so, what role does he play in protecting these secrets and treasures today? The clash between good and evil is a classic tale of biblical proportions but if given this additional twist this could be the actual preliminary warning of the days just before Armageddon. Only God until now knows the actual truth, but all of that is about to possibly change. This is the tale of the Ninth Templar and his legacy in our modern times.
I have recently just signed an MOU for the development of a Knights Templar new documentary on what caused the Templar betrayal and how the Knights orchestrated and managed their diaspora to make sure they safe guarded their secrets and continued to move their secret agenda forward after the 1307 massive betrayal and arrest of their Grand Master and many of their Knights. It will tell the theoretical tale of how they did so and why and what it has evolved into even yet today. It is based partially on my book published in 2012 (The Knights Templar Uncloaked) and my new soon to be released fiction novel, (The Ninth Templar). Director/Producer James Allen is spearheading the concept development, documentary planning and support team and the sourcing of the funding and licensing for distribution of the documentary under an agreement established between he and I this past week. James Allen also has direct connections to the Knights Templar Order and the Masonic Order and is a very active film expert working from London UK. I am honored and excited to have developed this relationship for the documentary with James and look forward to the collaboration.
More interesting mysteries around the Templars
Lots of excitement in the English village of Temple Balsall – which is indeed a former Templar preceptory. Apparently some aerial photographs have revealed a rather odd feature in the landscape – looks rather like a mini version of the Nazca lines. Anyway, nobody has the slightest idea what they mean and it’s hoped they relate to the Knights Templar, former residents in the area. Go HERE to read more!
Wow they even destroy their own sacred historical sites… wow
In yet another act of barbarism, the so-called Islamic State has blown up the citadel of the historic city of Tikrit – birthplace of Saladin, the great Saracen warrior who fought Richard the Lionheart in the crusades. This is one of a grim series of attacks on archaeological sites driven by a salafi/wahhabi literalist view of the Qur’an. Namely that shrines and tombs must not be venerated and so should be destroyed.
The same logic, incidentally, has been pursued by the authorities in Saudi Arabia where, in recent years, the tombs and houses of many of the founders of Islam have been levelled. This may seem odd given the image of the Saudis as ultra-religious. But it’s the type of Islam they adhere to that means they’re indifferent to the buildings that once housed the Prophet and his family and companions.
Saladin as depicted in the movie Kingdom of Heaven
There has been much speculation about the Knights Templar Order pertaining to their origination.
No one knows the exact basis that created the impetus for the Pope and the Church to create special rules allowing these knights freedoms that no other organization was granted .
Many believe that the reason it was granted is that the Knights Templar founder Sir Hugh de Payens brought a tremendous discovery to Abbott Bernard de Clairvaux in France. This then triggered his own vision and support for the needs of the Order.
So, what could have moved Bernard de Clairvaux to petition the Pope to create and allow such a special status for these knights?
There are many speculative ideas on this. This is of course the premise for the back story in my new debut novel, The 9th Templar.
So let’s see what you all think the discovery was?
Let’s take a quick look at the most popular opinions;
1.) Ark of the Covenant
2.) The Holy Grail and/or the Chalice from the Last Supper
3.) Tomb of Christ with evidence that supports or refutes the atonement of Christ according to the church.
4.) Relics from the Crucifixion of Christ
5.) Ancient Lost Gospel pertaining to Christ or perhaps written by Christ that clarifies his views, events of his life and his vision for what’s next.
Let me know
You can read the original prologue now on my blog. This version was edited and not used in the new soon to be released commercial novel. I thought you all might like to read the original version I did. I really like it. Perhaps someday I will do an entire novel about the time from the Templar diaspora up to modern day. For now this will have to do. Cheers, Don
Thursday Oct 12, 1307
Satisfying his carnal desires for the night, Roger De Flor swaggered out of Madame Coulet’s house of ill repute. He turned his head back, removed his black chaperone hat, smiled and bowed at the ladies whose company he had enjoyed for the past hour. He turned back toward the street with dirt packed heavily from trodden hoofs, slicked back his long wavy hair, and placed his hat back on his head, though he preferred to wear his metal battle helmet. He wiped his long fingers on his thick black tunic stitched with a red cross down the center, and made his way out into the darkness of the docks of La Rochelle, a waterfront town in the south western part of France, a stronghold where the Knights Templar’s housed their fleet of ships.
From every coast up and down Europe and the Middle East, De Flor relished his visits with the ladies, a perk being away from his Grand Master’s religious grip. He feasted heavily knowing that tonight would be the last time, perhaps years before he’d have the opportunity to enjoy their company again, for Roger De Flor had a hedonistic appetite that he’d yet been able to quench.
He took a deep breath and sucked in the thick cold winds that blew off of the ocean, filling his lungs with the salty air. He loved the smell of the sea, the taste of the salt on his tongue, and the rogues that flocked to the docks like seagulls after the latest chum. The open water had been his life, they knew each other well. It was there on the ocean he’d felt most at home.
Through the darkness, lit only by a handful of lanterns that hung on various taverns that dotted the waterfront, De Flor continued down the docks, where boats slapped white cap water against the sides of the mooring. He passed three highwaymen in their tattered outfits and heavy boots, who eyeballed him up and down. De Flor knew of these men, and that they were sizing him up, figuring if he’s more trouble than the money he might be carrying.
But they couldn’t help but to notice the large red cross on his black overcoat, he was not a man to test, besides everyone in La Rochelle knew of Roger De Flor.
Ahead De Flor could see the foreboding outline of the Templars Castle with their own private docks and quays at the tip of the bay. His pleasures included to venture from the taverns down to the waterfront back to his private quarters at the castle each night. Thugs, brigands and rogues were his favorite people. He felt at home amongst them, yet he had been equally honored and fervent about his kinship to the Templar knights, the order he’d sworn his loyalty.
De Flor’s angst for his love to two worlds, the life of a privateer and his duty to his God and Templars. He loved them both and had found it impossible to leave one for the other.
Eighteen ships were docked in the templar’s private harbor, all under his command as Admiral of the Templar fleet. De Flor eyeballed the vessels up and down, as he walked along the stone walled pathway, each time nodding at his men who stood guard. Then he turned away from the water, following the stone wall toward the tower keep.
He stopped halfway between the stone castle with its square walls that rose above the city and its round tower keep that afforded a view of all boats coming and going. On the corner sat the Dancing Flame tavern, which, allowed for a clear view on the boats in the harbor. As he opened the heavy wooden door he felt the warmth of a roaring fire and his nose immediately filled with the aroma of sweet roasted meats. He shook the mist from the sea off his coat and nodded to two men who stood by the door.
These two men belonged to the sea, with weather beaten faces, and heavy muscular shoulders. Their beards were long, purposely uncut, and their head shaved at the crown, a tonsure renouncing the worldly fashions. De Flor chuckled to himself at the sight of these brothers of the order, and how silly they looked never shaving their beards and cutting their hair into tonsures. He would never make himself look so ridiculous and unattractive on purpose.
“Is he here?”
“Yes, and he is angry.”
“He’s always angry.”
“You kept him waiting.”
“I had serious business.”
“At a whore house I assume!” The third man called out from the far end of the tavern. The man appeared to be much leaner than the other two, no weak, not a man of the dirt or the sea either, he was clearly out of place. His attire had been spun from a finer fabric, all in black except for a white stitching along the lapel of his jacket, which hid his silk shirt. His name was Sir Robert St. Claire.
De Flor crossed the room and sat with St. Claire while the other two men stayed their position. You look well for a dead man.” St. Claire shook his head and cut into the last pieces of his meat. “Can I assume you are not hungry.”
“I already ate. But a spot of ale never hurt.”
“And help take the taste of the whorehouse out of your mouth.” St Claire showed he had not been amused with De Flor’s antics.
“I see my fame with the ladies is well known and now even you have noticed me. I am flattered St. Claire.”
“And if you weren’t such a good pirate Grand Master De Molay would have thrown you out of the order years ago.”
“I’m no pirate.” He leaned in with a toothy grin. “I’m not even a profiteer. I’m just taking what is rightfully ours. There’s interest to pay, and if they don’t pay it, it’s my God given duty to collect it one way or another. “God Wills It. And Sir St. Claire you seem to have amassed a decent amount of capitol due to my adventures.”
The buxom barmaid, with redish blond hair and pink cheeks, set down a warm ale, his favorite mead brewed by Trappist monks over in Flanders. He imported it just for his own consumption. Their eyes caught, and he flashed his famous smile she’d become accustomed to. She spun giving him a perfect view of her backside.
“Thank you my dear.” He patted her on her well proportioned fanny and sent her away but thinking perhaps to tilt with her one last time. He had a thing for young barmaids, especially her.
The two men at the door grew pensive as they continued to check the windows for any uninvited visitors. Finally the taller of the two quickly stepped to the table and leaned in.
“We should hurry, King Phillip of France, and his henchman Gremillo Nogarret have operatives everywhere from Rome to the smallest enclaves in France and surely they have some here in La Rochelle as well.”
De Flor did not look up as his templar brother though he shared his concern. He merely raised his hand and sent him back to his post. St. Claire reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a piece of parchment and set it on the table.
“I met with Grand Master De Molay yesterday in Paris. These are his final instructions”, St. Claire said as he laid out the parchments.
They stared at the coded lettering. They were in neither French, Spanish, English, German, Latin, or any familiar written language. De Flor pulled a small black leather code book from his pocket and laid it for the two to see. They each read the orders with the code book breaking down the words on De Molay’s letters.
“Sometimes I wish I had not take such an oath,” De Flor looked up from the note. “He is our Grand Master and we must do his bidding. He is meeting tomorrow with King Phillip, the Fair. He believes he can work out their differences. I fear he is being led into a trap.”
“King Phillip is an evil and self absorbed man when it comes to his own kingdom.”
“King Philip does hate you St. Clair, as much as he does Molay.”
“I don’t know why, you black balled him from our order too.”
“He never learned that I was at the council.” De Flor grinned. “Remember, I was dead by then.”
“The king’s hatred for our order is not his driving force. He also desires to rule all of Christendom with the pope as his puppet.” St. Claire pointed out.
“I am disturbed that with all the problems we are having with the King, and the Pope being toothless to help, De Molay’s plan for a new crusade to the Holy land is unwise, if not suicide. We barely made it out of Acre with our lives.”
“And look how it decimated our order. Our current Templar prince dead, the future Templar Prince almost impaled.”
“You know we are not supposed to speak of the Black Prince. It is forbidden lest a foreign ear hears our secret.”
“Some secret,” De Flor rolled his eyes. “He was almost killed in Acre.”
“Maybe that is why the Grand Master likes you so much, De Flor. Your fleet saved the boy from death.”
“Don’t be so modest St. Claire. I think you’re an arrogant aristocrat, but you do fight like you have six arms. It was you who kept the boy from being skewered. To good times,” De Flor raised his cup of ale and laughed breaking the tension. “But you know the Grand Master as I, re-conquering the holy land is all he thinks about.”
“Clearly he must question whether he will survive his meeting with King Phillip or he wouldn’t have given us such orders..”
“Personally I think the grand master should stay clear of Paris until the King calms himself. We’re making so much money our way, we run the banking system, we control debt, why jeopardize our wealth.”
“The Grand Master sees it differently, and it is our jobs to follow him.” St. Claire answered with little expression.
De Flor picked up the paper and read the print for a third time. He shook his head, frustrated with the grand master’s decisions.
“Where is the boy now?”
“He’s on your flagship the Sophia, waiting to set sail.”
“He won’t be happy when I tell him he’s not going.” De Flor pointed to the letter.
“You don’t sound too happy about it either.” St. Claire answered. “Remember we do the Grand Master’s bidding. Our happiness is not the issue.”
De Flor ignored St. Clair and turned to the two men who stood guard. “Are my ships ready?”
“We’ll have all ships loaded and ready to sail before daybreak.”
“Make it sooner.” Roger stood. He looked over at St. Claire. “Walk with me.”
The two exited the tavern leaving their brethren to finish their own tasks. Outside they made their way back into the dark and wind biting cold of the winds that blew from the sea across the waterfront. The two followed the ancient stone wall till they came to an overhead lantern that afforded them enough light to complete their discussion.
“De Flor, I know it matters not today, but I thought your maritime plan for a Templar kingdom made great sense. We would bode well outside of the reach of these rulers and the church. ”
“If events happen in Paris as I fear they will, I will search for a new Templar Kingdom.” De Flor face turned stern as he stared strongly at St. Claire. “St. Claire, the boy is like a son to me. If any harm comes to him, I will hunt you down and disembowel you.”
“You don’t have to worry about that. If the boy is harmed it will mean I am already dead, remember I took the same oath as you. The boy and his bloodline are our greatest secret and treasure, without question we cannot let the King or his puppet Pope Clement V get their hands on him.”
“I will truly miss him,” De Flor sighed sullenly.
“Grand Master Molay once sat me down and explained why our order exists. Grand Master Hugh De Payens while excavating under the Temple in Jerusalem came across something that was in a small gold box. We do not know what it is but when he held it, it burned into his palm, but he had no scaring or burn marks. He said that whatever it was he held became part of Hugh De Payens and flowed through his own blood. They say he was touched by the hand of God and that he had an epiphany on the spot. In a flash of an instant he had knowledge, and it changed how he viewed not just man but the world, the planets and stars above. This object flowed in his blood, as it does in the blood of his heirs, as it does in young Henry De Payens. That is why the boy is one of our treasures, and needs to be safeguarded, that is our life’s mission.”
The two brother Templars who were at the bar approached quickly and their faces showed a sense of urgency.
“We received word that the King’s army is near.”
“How far away?” De Flor asked.
“Hours at best.”
“Our worst fears are upon us. We must proceed fast. Go, make ready.”
As the two men hurried back down the docks St. Claire leaned in to De Flor and changed the subject.
“I’ve secured the Templar treasury on the ships. It will be out of the reach of both King and Church.”
“Good, and I assume the three copies of the templar books are hidden on the ships and that only you know of them?”
“Of course. Let’s just hope those three ships don’t sink.” De Flor grinned.
“The code book itself stays with me. In case any of the three templar books falls in the wrong hands, not a soul will be able to read any of them without the code book. There is a second piece of our treasure that the Grand Master wants you to guard with your life.” St Claire reached into his jacket and pulled out a leather pouch.
The pouch held a small gold box. St. Clair opened the tiny crate and held in his palm a stone, it was the size of horse’s eye, and as smooth as cue ball. The rock was as black as, and as black as the heavens with a small round milky white circle that split the center from one end to the other. “Hugh De Payen had found under the temple of King Solomon.”
“And what is it?” De Flor held the stone in the palm of his hand.
“There are many things in this world we don’t understand. Somehow when this box is opened and the contents held by the Templar Prince, miracles occur.”
“Have you seen such miracles?” De Flor asked.
“No. The Grand Master has kept this box from the Prince, as have the Grand Masters before him. But he did test the boy with the stone when he was an infant and it confirmed that the boy does indeed have the blood. He wanted to keep the stone separate till the boy was ready. That is why you must keep the stone on your person at all time. It must never fall into the church’s hands, it will disappear forever.”
De Flor studied the rock for a moment, then he reached down to the hilt of his sword and opened a pouch that was tied closed with a strip of leather. He placed the stone in the pouch and tied the opening closed. “As you know, this sword never leaves my side.”
“The ships are ready. I have given the word to load our knights?” Across the quay De Flor studied the 200 hundred knights and their destrier mounts being loaded along with their provisions, along with squires and sergeants, cooks and attendant staff, a complete heavy cavalry unit and the legion of support staff.
Eighteen ships in all, but not all going in the same direction. De Flor’s four ships would spread out to the corners of the world in search of new lands for the Templars.
De Flor paused for a moment. He turned to a young man, barely seventeen, who stood by the vessels watching with great anticipation of his next adventure. He put his long fingers over the young man’s shoulder.
“Are we ready to sail?” The lad asked.
“Yes we are.”
“I should climb aboard.”
“Not tonight young Knight.”
“What do you mean?”
“You are not joining at this time.”
“What do you mean? I was to join, you said.”
“I know what I said. But I am not the final decision maker. Grand Master De Molay has other plans for me. And he has other plans for you. Tomorrow he sees King Phillip. I don’t share his optimism with this meeting. Sir Robert St. Claire, your own kinsman, is waiting down the docks for you. You will stay with him and his templar knights, until events have settled. He will keep you in the shadows, safe. You will do as you were taught and you will survive. Our order must survive.”
“I don’t wish to go with Master St. Claire. I wish to stay here with you.”
“It is not our choice young Knight, the decision has been made. There will be no more discussion.” De Flor pointed to the direction of Sir Robert St. Claire. “Go.”
And with that the young lad, Sir Henry De Payens, the future templar prince of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, and the only living heir of the founder of the order Hugh De Payens, sucked in an angry breath of air, then turned and walked into the darkness toward the distant lantern.
De Flor motioned for two Knights to shadow the lad till he reached St. Claire, he knew the docks well and was taking no chances. He took one last look toward the town with its walled castle that seemed to be eyeing him and his ships, then turned his attention toward his task. He climbed the walkway and stood on the deck of his frigate, the Sophia.
A Knight stepped to De Flor with two freshly severed heads still dripping blood. He held one in each hand for De Flor to see. “I found the spies. What should I do with these?”
“Nail them to the mooring with a note that reads, “He who betrays Christ’s Knights shall lose their soul and life. It will be a warning to others who took an oath of loyalty to our order not to betray us.”
“One last thing” he said to his young yeoman, “When you’re done nailing the heads to the mooring make your way back to the tavern and fetch the young redish blond barmaid to the ship. You know the one I speak do ya Lad?
“Aye Admiral, the one I would choose myself.” They both laughed.
“Tell her Sir Roger is keeping his promise to show her the world.” He smiled, thinking a man can’t be expected to give up all his vices in one night. Then he turned to his men. “Raise the flag!”
The knights on the Sophia tied the flag to the rope and hauled it up the tall mast. There in the night wind Roger DeFlor’s own personal flag stood mightily over the ships in the harbor, the black fabric with a white skull above two crossed swords. Sailors who had seen the flag knew it could only be Roger DeFlor’s calling card, the Jolly Roger.
“Let’s move out.” He called, and the sailing bell rang through the eighteen ships as they one by one set sail into the Atlantic never to be seen again.
Friday October 13, 1307
Gremello Nogarette, a small mealy faced man, craned his head out over the protective wall that surrounded the King’s castle in Paris. He studied the procession of well-armed Knights, with their white or black tunics and their Templar crosses imbedded across their chests for all to see. They carried their heavy swords by their side and their shields held high. The Knights in the front of the procession held the black and white beausaent rising from their spears for all of the kingdom to see. At the head of the procession rode the old Grand Master, Jacques De Molay, his head with wavy white hair, held high and erect. Clearly he rode with the confidence of the backing of his God.
“He seems so smug, this De Molay. I wonder if the King will grant him his crusade.”
Nogarette turned to his aid, and elderly cardinal, and grunted. “His crusade? King Phillip will grant him his death.”
“Do you really see that as a possibility?”
“De Molay is no friend to the church. For that matter his plan is to destroy our way of life and instill his own Templar style of religion is blasphemous.”
“Destroy the church? I’ve never heard that.”
“Nor has the king, or the pope for that matter. And it is better they don’t know, not yet. The king is in great financial debt to the Templars. Let him just think he’s wiping out his debt. But in reality he’s saving the church.”
“In what way?”
“There are truths that for our sake must never see the light of day. The Templars have found those truths and plan on sharing them with the people.”
“What kind of truths?”
“Look around. We control all of this, we control the people. Do you really think the kings have the power? They only have what power that we allow them. It is the church that controls the people through their desire for something better in the after life. The Kings and Monarchs do our bidding. If these truths that the Templars discovered came to light it would be the end of our way of life. We’d be one of those pawns you see in the streets; that we can not let happen, ever.”
“And how did you find out these truths?”
“I have my ways.”
“I am a man of God. Shouldn’t I know these truths?”
“Not unless you no longer want to be a man of your God.” Nogarrete paused for a moment. “That is why today, as soon as they enter the castle, De Molay and his Templars will be arrested. Our army has swarmed the country and have arrested all their brethren templars. In one full swoop we will rid ourselves of this threat.”
“I must know. What do they have that is so damning?”
Nogarette turned to the Cardinal, his eyes grew deep and his expression blank. “The lost gospel of Christ.”
Nogarette turned and walked down the steps toward the courtyard enjoying what he was observing, the kings guards surrounding the Templars. Then his eye caught two of his riders from his own private army racing toward him. They quickly dismounted.
“Sir, I have news, the Templar fleet has disappeared. By the time our soldiers entered La Rochelle the fleet had left.”
“What? We had spies in the order watching. Where were there eyes?”
“The Castle doors were unlocked and the two spies impaled bodies hung in the courtyard. We found their heads nailed to a parchment at the docks where the ships former moorings were located.”
Nogarette paused and shook his head with disappointment. “What have you done to rectify the situation?”
“We have our fleet searching. Eighteen ships just don’t disappear. Our fleet will find them.”
Find them,” Nogarette snorted. “Even if we do, De Flor will not go without a fight. Our element of surprise has passed. He is cunning beyond our own commanders’ capabilities. How many times is that man going to fake his death only to show up an the most inopportune time!” No I fear their the Templar fleet is lost to us.”
“What do you suggest we do?”
“Perhaps De Molay knows where De Flor and his fleet are headed? I’ll have the inquisitor get the information out of him at any cost. In the mean time it is clear that some Templars have missed our net. Tighten our noose around their order and cut off their resources. I want their treasury found.
As the riders turned to leave, Nogarette grabbed the taller of the two by the shoulder.
“Not you. I have a special job that required your expertise. I want you to amass together a small band of the best-trained mercenaries money can buy, hunt down the Templars and kill every last one of them.”
“Every last one?”
“Tell any of these men who volunteer the Pope will admonish their sins for life for their service to crown and church. We cannot let the bloodline of Hugh De Payens survive.”
Starting the beginning of the final edits by having the story go through a literary polish edit to catch all grammatical and phraseology issues before sending to publishers for consideration by my selected agent. I will have this done by my favorite editors in the UK, Famelton Writing Services. They do an awesome job!
I wanted to give everyone a progress report. I have finally gotten and approved all the edits from my editors. A very special thank you to my developmental editing team from Famelton Writing Services in the UK. Karen Charlton did an exceptionally awesome job of helping me straighten out the story and somewhat simplify some of my pages where I struggled to get this novel under 400 pages. I am now preparing to have her team do the polish edit. I have also hired Jennifer Wilkov of “Your Book is Your Hook, LLC.” to assist me in finding the best literary agent and publisher for my novel. We are simultaneously working to find a producer that would like to work on the book to film rights for me. Jennifer was a great addition to my team. My sincere hopes are to have signed a publisher deal by Christmas of 2014. Soon you will then be seeing the final product on book shelves, Ebook, audio and other platforms… I really hope others enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Last but not least I am currently working on an ARC version (Advanced Reader Copy Limited Edition) that will be signed by me and not available in any stores. My hope is to have it in Leather with an inset picture of the actual original cover. It will also have a few of my chosen graphics that may not make the actual commercial publication book. It will truly be a rare collectible. I am considering creating a t-shirt as part of that special edition promotion. This product will only be available through my own web site so it will not be available online at any of the traditional sources for books and such.
That is the update as of this date. I am really excited about 2014.