FROM TEMPLARS TO FREEMASONRY
Even a quick examination of the Templars' history reveals the major transformations
they underwent along the way. They first appear under a Christian façade,
but soon enter a darker phase in which un-christian and perverse philosophies
and teachings show through. This doesn't happen all at once, however,
and many events are responsible for the changes that occurred.
These changes first came about during the Templars' sojourn in the Holy
Land: During this phase, they became acquainted with the Cabala and learned
the mysterious teachings of various other Jewish sects. The Assassins'
mysticism and perverse practices were also incorporated into their system;
and the emerging picture reveals that their Christian faith had given
way to secret occultist rituals and Black Magic rites. Needless to say,
their ideals and mission changed accordingly.
The second cause of their transformation can be explained when we consider
that the poor knights of the Templar Order acquired incredible wealth
over a relatively short period of time. Given their hopes of attaining
mystical powers over the material world through their newly-acquired dark
beliefs and practices, it's no surprise that they began to set their sights
on much grander goals.
It's important to keep in mind that at that time, mystic and secretive
beliefs played an important, even everyday, role in people's lives. Many
were convinced that in order to gain wealth or power, one needed the help
of dark powers, which could be compelled through Black Magic. Using what
they considered "scientific" methods, people were investigating ways of
contacting and controlling invisible powers-by means of secret codes,
magic signs and formulas, and incantations. Poisons were prepared, the
elixir of life was sought in experiments, and alchemists tried to create
gold out of lesser metals. The Templars, seeking to rule this world with
the help of the invisible one, came to worship Satan and called on him
to dominate the powers of darkness.
Many years of investigations by the courts of the King and the Pope documented
the Templars' real ideals and proved that they were hiding behind a Christian
façade. The order had gathered together the dark world's symbols, traditions
and rituals, and founded a system in castles built for that purpose, leading
the way for many later secret societies.
Templars' Confessions in Masonic Sources
As we saw in the last chapter, after going underground to escape the
Inquisition, the Templars infiltrated various other sects and organizations.
For their purposes, the masons' lodges were an ideal choice. Very quickly,
they infiltrated them, brought them under their own control, adapted and
altered them to accommodate the Templars' own philosophy, beliefs, and
rituals. Since they had long been trained in the arts of architecture
and masonry and had gained expertise in building castles and Gothic cathedrals,
it was easy enough for the Templars to infiltrate and control the professional
guilds of masons. Published reference works by Masons refer more often
to the symbolic features of their merger with the Templars, than to the
darker aspects the Masons inherited from them.
As one Turkish Masonic source writes:
The Grand Master's abacus [staff of office] is evidence for the connection
between the Templars and Freemasons. This staff is a symbol representing
Aaron's rod [mentioned in the Bible-a walking stick that sprouted leaves].
Its head is in the form of a temple, and along length of its body is carved
measurements. This staff is a symbol of masonry.
In France as well as in Jerusalem, Templars and Freemasons existed side
by side and must have influenced each other's esoteric knowledge. An examination
of architecture when the Gothic style came to be adopted reveals that
the first European churches built deliberately in the new Gothic style
began to be constructed after Jerusalem's conquest by the crusaders.
With the Templars' Grand Master being also the Freemasons', it can be
observed that the gradual progress from operational Masonry to speculative
Masonry had already begun. The Cistercian monks, dealing with construction
planning, had also been members of masons' lodges-an example to the clerical
or monastic type of mason;In Paris, where all other professions had their
own lodges, the masons shared quarters with the Templars, also showing
the close relationship between the two organizations.
The Papal decree of 1312 that liquidated the Templars' order also ended
the Masons' right of free passage. Fearing even worse reversals, French
Masons fled to Germany where, from then on, Gothic architecture became
suddenly dominant. There, the Masons' lodges that received Templars escaping
from France experienced the same gradual transformation as the British
ones had-from operational to speculative Masonry.
this silver-coated emblem are symbols of the Temple of Solomon,
the Templars' starting point
An 18th century Masonic sketch filled with Masonic
time, the Templars became the Freemasons. Therefore their lodges
and their new centers were built to resemble Solomon's Temple, where
the Templars had first originated.
The first handwritten Masonic document of 1390 is titled Regius. Evidentally,
from its verse style and the fact that it speaks of Lords and Ladies during
lodge meetings, masonry had already become speculative at those dates.
It is also interesting that masonry, as old as human history, had no recorded
charter preceding the Regius of 1390. Architecture and construction require
advanced knowhow. Understandably, those who enjoyed this expertise weren't
eager to put their knowledge on paper, where undesirables might obtain
it. But another explanation for their having no written rules may be that
they existed within an order just as secretive as they were.
|The article titled "De
Molay and Freemasonry" found on the cover of the Pennsylvania Freemason
magazine explains why Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Templars,
is still so important for the Masons of today.
The Masons survived with their secrets, safe within this order, until
the Templars were annihilated and abolished by the Inquisition. Then some
of their secrets began to emerge. The Templars' rules were also the Masons'
As stated above, Masons and Templars shared quarters for two hundred
years and they must have influenced each other to some extent. Masonic
rituals are so similar that they must have been copied from the Templars.
The Masons identified themselves with the Templars to a great extent,
and what is viewed as original Masonic esotericism (secrecy) can be said
to be a fairly important inheritance from the Templars. As stated at the
very beginning of this research-and in a nutshell-the starting point of
Freemasonry's royal art and initiatic-esoteric line belonged to the Templars.44
Another Turkish Masonic source examines various aspects of the Templar-Mason
Le Forestier was researching the same subject [the link between the Templars
and the Freemasons], and his conclusions seem undisputable today. The
first document in which the Templars appear to be the forefathers of the
Masons is a handwritten one from Strasbourg dated 1760 that makes no secret
of their inclination to mystical knowledge. This document includes the
basis of the myth: It defines how the order secrets have been handed down
from Jacques de Molay to contemporary Freemasonry. According to Le Forestier,
the influence of the German Rosicrucians is unquestionable, but "their
only purpose was to find a different interpretation by attributing to
the masonic tradition and enigma a secretiveness and a deliberate covertness."
On the other hand, the continuity of the temple had a certain logic: "This
continuity also brought the historical succession that it lacked and the
established order that it did not have until then."
As these examples show, the Templars never ceased to exist. Instead,
they infiltrated the lodges of the weak and passive Masons, founded the
Rosicrucians, organized and strengthened the order, and turned it into
an effective tool. The Templars are not a branch or aspect of Masonry.
Nor, as the Masons claim, are they "a little influenced by them." Masonry,
along with its symbols, history and ideals, has become a den for the Templars,
albeit under a different name. The Masons' history being linked to the
Temple of Solomon, their basic use of Hiram's name as a symbol and the
profession of stonemasonry, their use of mystic symbols from the Cabbala,
their adoption of the Templars' organizational structure, their ceremonies,
oath, dress and rules of promotion being prepared according to the Templars'
rule-all prove that the Templars and Freemasons are one and the same.
As mentioned the Templars encountered no difficulties in penetrating
the workers guilds and in Germany, England and Portugal brought these
lodges under their control and with this they had found an ideal front
and a new, strong organization suitable to be adapted to their purposes.
Origins of the Scottish Rite
The Scottish rite of Freemasonry, oldest of the Masonic lodges employed
to provide shelter for the Templars, was established in the 14th century
by Templars seeking refuge in Scotland. It became an example for the rest
to follow. The titles of the Scottish lodges' highest ranks continue to
be identical to those given to the Knights Templar centuries before. Baron
Karl von Hund, one of the most famous Masons of the 18th century who compiled
research on the Templars, called the Scottish lodges a "restoration" of
the Templars. According to him, eight prominent Templars fled first to
Ireland and thence to Scotland, where they reorganized. The Templars were
soon active again in many other countries, but Scotland became their new
stronghold, where they based their operational headquarters.
Baron Karl von Hund, the creator of the grade of Masonry known as the
Rite of Strict Observance [was responsible for adding the Templar legend
to the Craft]. Von Hund's Rite of Strict Observance spread throughout
Europe including parts of Switzerland and even as far as Russia. [T]here
is no doubt that the Order of the Temple, the highest of the Chivalric
Orders in the York Rite, and the Knight Kadosh grade of the Scottish Rite
owe a great allegiance to the legend first put forth in Von Hund's Rite
of Strict Observance.45
In the following centuries, Masonic Templarism branched out, expanding
around the world to become a serious global power, while always remaining
true to its Templar ideology:
In 1717 "accepted Masons," working in operative lodges, decided to create
for themselves an organization to provide them tolerance and freedom of
thought within the religious, political and ideological environment of
the 18th century. This organization's signs, traditions and ceremonies
were derived from secret societies like Freemasonry, Templars and Rosicrucians.
Its philosophy of contemplation was inspired by the idea of free thought,
originating in the 17th century and just beginning to spread in England
in the 18th.46
As the coming chapters will show, the true ambition hidden in this plan
was to weaken and destroy religion, especially Christianity and Islam,
by any means, creating a materialistic world order opposed to religion
and religious organizations, in line with the Masonic ideals.
For Other Purposes:The Rosicrucians
The Rosicrucians, founded by the Templars as a sister organization to
Freemasonry but serving a different purpose, were darker and more secretive.
Even today, it cannot be ascertained where and when this organization
was founded. It has circulated various documents and legends (such as
the suggestion that their order first arose in the Mystery Schools of
ancient Egypt), most of which contain little or no truth. The first authentic
printed Rosicrucian documents, "Confessio Rosae Crusis" and "Fama Fraternitatis,"
appeared in Germany in 1614 and 1615, and contain important information
about the order. According to these and some later documents, the Rosicrucians
are an esoteric-secretive sect combining Egyptian Hermeticism, Gnosticism
and Cabalistic lore. According to the German documents, they were founded
by a German knight by the name of Christian Rosencreutz-though some experts
suggest that his name is either false or merely symbolic.
famous Mason, Baron Karl von Hund, the Scottish branch of Masonry
represents the restoration of the Templars
17th-century Rosicrucian drawing. The triangle, moon, and sun are
symbols of the Rosicrucians as well as the Freemasons
In this sect, the Templars felt more at home than in the Freemasons'
lodges. The Templars accepted non-Templars into Masonic lodges, where
they didn't practice the dark activities, like sorcery and alchemy, that
they did in the Rosicrucian organization.
Viewed from this perspective, Rosicrucian centers were an obvious place
for the Templars to obtain the magical powers required to control material
world. Therefore, these places became the research centers for the Templars.
Interestingly, both the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians are of Templar
descent and closely linked. In the Scottish rite, the title of the 18th
degree is Rosicrucian Knight:
The Rosy Cross derived from the Red Cross of the Templars. Mirabeau,
who as a Freemason and an Illuminatus was in a position to discover many
facts about the secret societies of Germany during his stay in the country,
definitely asserts that "the Rose Croix Masons of the seventeenth century
were only the ancient Order of the Templars secretly perpetuated."47
Lecouteulx de Canteleu, an expert in the subject, clarifies further:
In France the Knights [Templar] who left the Order, henceforth
hidden, and so to speak unknown, formed the Order of the Flaming Star
and of the Rose-Croix, which in the fifteenth century spread itself in
Bohemia and Silesia. Every Grand officer of these Orders had all his life
to wear the Red Cross and to repeat every day the prayer of St. Bernard.48
and Masons are two secret societies with one common philosophy and
purpose, as is reflected in their symbols-rose and cross-within
the Masonic set-square.
The sword, an
indispensable symbol for the Templars, is also an irreplaceable
accessory in the Masonic lodges.
is the continuation of the Order of Knights Templar, the Templars'
teachings derived from Cabalist-Jewish faith and rituals live on
in Masonry. The Jewish shofar, or calling horn, is also used in
the Masonic lodges.
Of all the Rosicrucian practitioners, the most famous and fervent was
a man who's often been surmised to be the true author of Shakespeare's
plays-Sir Francis Bacon, born in England in 1561. For his services to
science and philosophy, he was knighted 1st Baron of Verulam and also
Viscount of St Albans. He earned a reputation as Father of the Positive
sciences for his philosophical and scientific writings, although none
of them explains anything about his real identity. He was the Grand Master
of the English Templars and in this capacity, the most senior Rosicrucian.
He was an undisputed expert in the secret sciences, especially the Cabala,
alchemy, and sorcery. The so-called scientific research he undertook had
little to do with real science, but much with engaging mystic and supernatural
forces to win power over nature. Bacon's New Atlantis; his 1626 utopia
of a heaven on earth, is an adaptation of the Templars' ideal state. Bacon
recounts the story of an imaginary people on an imaginary island called
Bensalem (which means "New Jerusalem")-an entirely scientific society,
full of inventions, where the residents control even the winds. There's
also the science house he calls Solomon's house, which is the Templars'
starting point as well as their destination.
A Masonic drawing
depicting the symbols of the Knights Templar, together with those
of Masons and Rosicrucians. In the box at the bottom, the execution
of Jacques de Molay is depicted.
illustration showing all the Masonic symbols together.
In short, we have three sister organizations, operating under different
names-Templars, Masons and Rosicrucians-but with one single common aim.
As the next chapter documents, they continued to increase in power and
influence and actively tried to alter the face of the Earth to suit their
purposes and still continue to do so, using every means at their disposal.