The Legend Quest – Holy Grail – Ashley Cowie

Roslin or Rosslyn Chapel - geograph.org.uk - 1...
Roslin or Rosslyn Chapel 

Being aired on Syfy is the breathless series Legend Quest where ‘archaeological explorer’ Ashley Cowie charges round discovering mysteries. In the episode I’ve just watched, he fixed his gaze on the Holy Grail and the Knights Templar.

OK – let’s take his thesis from the top. The Holy Grail, he says, is the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper and then his blood was caught in it during the crucifixion and taken to England by Joseph of Arimathea. It’s not, as Dan Brown, said the bloodline of Jesus – no, it’s a real cup. The descendants of Joseph were the Knights Templar who were then suppressed by the Pope because they became too powerful. They fled to places ‘outside papal control’ including Switzerland and Scotland.

The Holy Grail, Cowie says, was taken to Scotland – Rosslyn chapel to be precise and it was looked after by the Sinclair family. Unfortunately when Cowie shows up, Rosslyn is having repairs done and he can’t get in. So he chats to a latter day Scottish Templar, an amiable old chap, who rather amusingly is subtitled! I’m assuming the view was that Americans would find Scots impossible to understand.

In 1446, Sinclair built Rosslyn and the Grail was definitely there says Cowie who has done ‘fifteen years of research’ there. Hidden in a painting of a rather dandified Templar he’s spotted a staircase that gives a clue as to where the Grail was held in the church. He leads the programme producer to the oldest part of the chapel – an eleventh century window. And Cowie has noted a carving there.

The carving, he says, is a section of a medieval map. He sees a cup sitting on top of a tower with a line representing the meridien – the Rose line – and he makes out a short horizontal line that is obviously the equator. Diamond shapes are lozenges representing the Sinclair family. And then Cowie imposes this scribble onto a map of the world and a star shape sits over north east America.

The star is known as La Merica – which was a star to lead Templars to peace and away from their enemies. The star sits over America. It’s called La Merica.  And so…guess where the Grail went. Yep – the New World. The United States.

William Brewster, a Pilgrim elder, went to Rosslyn three weeks before the Mayflower set sail in the seventeenth century. A descendant of the original Sinclair gives Brewster the Grail to take to America.

So Cowie flies off to Provincetown. He goes to investigate the Pilgrim Monument which – Cowie finds – bears a close resemblance to the carving on the eleventh century window at Rosslyn. Though the Pilgrim Monument was built in 1910 – centuries later – by Theodore Roosevelt. Aaaah – but Roosevelt was…..a Freemason!!

The Sinclairs of Rosslyn, Cowie points out, founded the Freemasons. So – Cowie believes he must investigate other Freemason structures built in the US . And he’ll get clues to the Grail. Off to Bunker Hill then to look at a big obelisk. Needless to say – it also resembles the Rosslyn carving. But stranger follows – because this obelisk is the second monument built on the site. The first monument built in 1794 – a model of which is located inside the obelisk is…a pillar with a cup on top – that looks even more like the Rosslyn carving. Cowie is aghast.

And he’s convinced that the original monument at Bunker Hill contained the Holy Grail. The more recent monument, completed in the mid-19th century doesn’t house the Holy Grail but – it’s a clue! Why isn’t it at Bunker Hill – because power shifted in the new United States. And so we leave Boston for Washington DC to gawp at the Washington Monument.

Freemason clues are all over Washington DC including the White House. But it’s the obelisk that enthralls Cowie who ‘must get inside’. He can’t get a permit to film but ‘that won’t stop him searching inside’. And he bravely enters. Without the crew. He returns and looks at ‘every stone’ and finds nothing – not a single clue. The Grail isn’t there.

But then Cowie notes something – the coloring of the stone changes half way up. The official reason that construction of the Washington Monument stopped during the American Civil War and then resumed doesn’t convince Cowie. He thinks this points to the possibility that the Grail was there. A local expert agrees. The Grail was whisked away from the capital during the war for its safety.

Clues needed. Map of Washington DC shows a direct line from the Scottish Rite Temple to the monument. Take the Freemason symbol and rotate it a bit and you hit the Capitol building. Cowie stares at the dome and hey presto – there a clue on top. A statue! A female statue! Representing freedom. Built by a freemason, Thomas Crawford. Is she pointing to the Grail?

Now – given that the obelisks in Boston and Washington are actually representations of the pillars that flanked the doors of the temple of Solomon – Cowie says we need to find the mid-point, what lurks in the doorway as it were, which turns out to be New York. And the female statue is actually pointing us at the Statue of Liberty off Manhatten. Freedom – liberty – it makes sense!

There’s a flame of enlightenment on the model of the top of the model of the original monument in Boston and this is mimicked by the torch carried by the Statue of Liberty. Trouble is – this lady was built by the French. Not a problem it turns out when you consider ‘liberte’ is freedom in French!

The original torch apparently came years before the rest of the statue was assembled – giving Freemasons time to instal the Grail within. It’s been replaced but the original is on display in the entrance lobby. Cowie has to get close. He does. Maybe they melted it down into the tip of the flame.

The ‘Grail Trail’ therefore leads us here to this new land of America. From the Templars through the Sinclairs and Brewster and into the torch of the Statue of Liberty. It’s the ‘perfect destination’ Cowie says. Melted down and now in the original torch in the lobby.

As my partner said – hard to believe the masons would have destroyed the cup held by Jesus – but if Cowie is to be believed…that’s exactly what they did.

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It’s Templar conspiracy time!

I haven’t flagged up any Templar conspiracies on the web for a while so here’s one.  OK – here we go!  The Templars were indulging in Kabbalistic sodomitical practices.  And they sought out a greater knowledge of the Kabbala – the Jewish mystical credo much beloved by Madonna (the singer, not the mother of Christ).  So they went on crusade, got their chain mail  hands on the Temple Mount and started digging.

Solomon was a ‘biblical magician king’ behind the Kabbala (no evidence provided in this conspiracy theory but please, continue believing).  The Templars were afraid of the muslims finding out more about the Kabbala so had to get to the Temple Mount and find the secrets first.   They tunneled under the Temple Mount and got what they wanted.  This included the Holy Grail which is not an object but a series of Kabbalistic secrets.

The Holy Grail is the secret that physical matter can be transformed through incantations of Hebrew codes.  This proves, among other things, that the planet is a living breathing conscious being.  To make this point, David Icke pops up in the video below – please refer to my earlier posts about this gentleman.  Anyway, the French knights Templar got their comeuppance for centuries of blood crusading and ‘ritualistic sodomy’ by being rounded up and tortured by the French king.  They confessed to their sexual practices and their black magic artifacts were confiscated – included dessicated heads called ‘baphomets’, through which the devil was conjured up to speak.

Some Templars escaped to Scotland and Malta.  The Maltese branch got to America before Columbus and went to Scotland as well, emerging their as Freemasons.  Organizations that can trace their roots back to the Kabbalistic Templars include the Ku Klux Klan!   One of their rituals was part-performed by Elizabeth II during her coronation in 1952.  All of which ‘proves’ that Prince William is the next King of the Kaballah.

Gosh – do people really believe this stuff.  Watch the video for yourself here:

The Grand Priory of Knights Templar in Scotland

This organisation is registered in Geneva and this is its stated aim:

“The Grand Priory of the Knights Templar in Scotland aspires to foster a cosmopolitan society in which differences among peoples, cultures, and governments will be both respected and appreciated. We seek the betterment of humanity through education, world brotherhood, chivalric principles, and civil behavior and treatment among one-another.”

I am assuming that these Templars in Croatia are part of the same organisation and I’d like to know more about how the Scottish Knights Templar operates, recruits members and achieves its aims.

What are the links between the Freemasons and the Knights Templar?

One of the most asked questions about the Knights Templar is whether they continued to exist long after their suppression through the Freemasons. Or put another way, are today’s Freemasons the inheritors of the white mantles of the Templars?

FreemasonryThe linkage is difficult to prove but there’s no shortage of theories. One goes that after they were suppressed by Pope and the King of France, the Templars infiltrated stone mason guilds. These were then refashioned to embrace Templar ideals and rituals. In effect, the masons and Templars over time became one and the same thing.

Freemasons came to full public view in 1717 with the foundation of the Grand Lodge of England.  The organisation’s website traces the history of the order back to the stone masons of the Middle Ages who built Europe’s great cathedrals and not to the Knights Templar. It doesn’t recognised the aforementioned merger of masons and Templars.

The website cites evidence of people becoming Freemasons throughout the seventeenth century such as a gentleman called Elias Ashmole in 1643. Then in the eighteenth century, grand lodges were formed in England, Ireland and Scotland and the order grew significantly to include top politicians and establishment figures. But as its lodges spread throughout government and business, the conspiracy theories proliferated.

3DGREPT2From the eighteenth century to the present day, there were Freemasons happy to state that their rituals and organisation were directly descended from the Templars. Equally, there have always been Freemasons irritated by these claims. However, the creation of an occult mythology around masonic activity was largely created by Freemasons and not their detractors.

The prominent eighteenth century Freemason Baron Karl Gotthelf von Hund was forever hammering home the link between masonry and the Templars. The baron founded The Rite of Strict Observance within Freemasonry, as series of degrees through which members would pass including the degree of “knight”.

Michael Haag details in his book The Templars that a crusader connection was first expounded by Andrew Michael Ramsay, a Jacobite who headed up the French Grand Lodge around 1737. He said in a speech that the crusaders had wanted to create a global spiritual confraternity. While attempting to rebuild the Temple of Solomon, he believed they had developed secret signs and rituals to protect themselves from Saracen infiltration.

When the crusades collapsed, these spiritual crusaders left the Holy Land and returned to their European homes setting up the first Freemason lodges. But these were neglected over time and the secrets forgotten. Only in Scotland was the flame kept burning.

The authors of The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail in 1982 wrote about the alleged flight of Knights Templar to Scotland when the order was suppressed by the King of France in 1307, repeating an old claim that they participated in the Battle of Bannockburn against the English. They claimed to have discovered “what seemed to be” a Templar graveyard in Argyllshire with 13th century Templar gravestones and eighteenth century Masonic gravestones. The authors asserted that the later stones had mixed motifs suggesting a fusion at some point between the Templars and Freemasons.

3DGREPT1The alleged link between Freemasonry and the Templars has often been used to damage the reputation of masons. Stephen Knight authored The Brotherhood in the early 1980s claiming a link to the Templars and arguing that Freemasons were running the United Kingdom. Knight had also written a book on Jack the Ripper claiming that his murders were part of a conspiracy involving masons and the Royal Family. If that sound familiar, it’s because it influenced the later work From Hell by Alan Moore.

John Robinson’s 1989 book Born in Blood claimed that Knights Templar fleeing arrest and torture in England and Scotland formed a secret society of mutual protection that eventually revealed itself as the Freemasons. The symbols and rituals we associate with the masons in fact dated back to the Templars. He credited this secret society with the Protestant Reformation and included among its members the first US President George Washington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shriners – the fez wearing Freemasons

Logo of the Shriners of North America
Logo of the Shriners of North America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve always associated the Shriners with Laurel and Hardy in the movie where they have to go to a convention and they’re both wearing a fez.  That might have been a Shriner convention because that’s the required headwear for this society within the Freemason order.  With nearly half a million members in the United States, they are little known outside the US and, correct if I’m wrong, claim a kind of bond/link/influence from the Knights Templar.

Founded in the 1870s by two Freemasons who were watching some kind of theatrical Arabesque in New York after a masonic gathering at the Knickerbocker Cottage (a favourite Masonic haunt of the time) and decided to form an exotic sounding organisation called the Ancient Arabian Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (AAONMS – not the catchiest acronym ever).  Members are allocated to Shrine Centers – or Temples – and engage in a distinct set of rituals which includes using the Arabic greeting for ‘hello’ to each other.

As an accepted society within the Masons, you have to be a fully fledged Freemason – and a Master Mason at that – to be able to join.  It’s not possible to be a Shriner and not a Mason.  This is like a subset within the Masons – not a venn diagram overlap.  Officers within the Shriners are called a ‘Divan’ and the top dog is called a ‘Potentate’ assisted by a ‘Chief Rabban’.

As I say, they’re completely invisible on the European side of the Atlantic but in north America, expect to see them on parades in dinky cars and replete with the fez when they meet for their Imperial Council Session.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children have a budget of over three quarters of a billion dollars and were originally set up during the polio epidemics of the early twentieth century.  They now cater for a range of childhood disorders.

There is no real link to the Knights Templar of old but through the Masons, a link to the existing Knights Templar of the Masonic variety.

Templars as an offshoot of the Masons

This chap has just become the Right Eminent Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of the Knights Templar in New York.  Not entirely sure what to make of these organizations but would be interested to know more.  Clearly they have little or nothing to do with the original medieval Order and it seems they act more like a social club cum Christian pressure group.  But I’m happy to concede I don’t know much about these groups.  All enlightenment welcome.  Read more about the Grand Commander here – http://tinyurl.com/2w3rhqa

Did Templars build cathedrals?

main-lincolnThe Order of the Temple existed at the same time as a massive boom in cathedral building.  Throughout the twelfth and thirteenth century, Europe resounded to the striking of chisel against stone and yet, it all seems to have been the work of Benedictines and Cistercians.  The monastic warriors of the Temple were too busy channeling all that bullion to the crusades in the east.

So – does that mean no Templars were masons?  Well, section 325 of the Templar Rule intriguingly mentions masons being members of the Temple, but not as full knights.  Karen Ralls, a great Templar scholar, points out that mason brothers were the only Templars allowed to wear leather gloves apart from chaplains.  And it seems they were restricted to a kind of “associate” status.

But it seems hard to believe that if a cathedral was springing up near a Templar preceptory and it was all on hands on deck to get the thing built that the Templars would have just ignored and refused to get involved.  I’ve seen churches in Europe and the Middle East which almost certainly bear imagery one associates with the Templars.

Could it possibly be that these Templar masons lent a helping hand?  And left their mark?