Templars – organised criminals?

On this Islamic website, the Templars are likened to the mafia.


It claims that Templar agriculture, construction and other commercial activities were “for show” and that the Templars’ real wealth came from ransacking, plunder, slave trading and even selling opium.  So basically like modern organized crime.  It then goes on to allege that the Templars elbowed aside the Jewish community to become the main source of loans even though Christian teaching forbade this.

OK…let’s add some cooler analysis.  Thousands of preceptories were not established across Europe “for show”.  There was serious money to be made from agriculture – the main basis for wealth in feudal society.  That wealth was then channeled to fund the Order’s activities in the Holy Land.

The relationship with the Jewish communities would have been more complex than this website suggests.  The Templars might have been their landlords for a start.  The Templars did have large bullion reserves which were used to make loans – does that mean they elbowed out the Jewish money lenders?  Evidence please!  The Templars were not avowedly anti-semitic and their great influence, Bernard of Clairvaux, insisted on benevolent treatment of the Jews as he believed they had to be present in the end times.

This website claims the Templars traded in Africans, as well as other peoples.  Um….so did the Saracens.  In fact Barbary pirates were merrily trading in slaves for centuries.


4 thoughts on “Templars – organised criminals?

  1. They weren’t plotting on bringing it down, but they did blackmail the pope, why else will the pope stay quiet. Templar’s did attain something, probably some knowledge about Christianity that might have had hurt the cause.

    1. It’s interesting that the Pope first tried to calm things down and then went over completely to the French king – who owed them a lot of money. The Paris Temple was filthy rich – huge amounts of gold bullion stored underneath it.

  2. Templar Knights were organized for sure, nothing even in this modern world comes closer to their organization. But their cloak of secrecy and the silence of the church intrigues one’s intellect to conceive that Templars did have something that could bring down the church

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