Back in April 2017, I filmed for a new TV series called Private Lives of the Monarchs investigating the salacious royal secrets of various kings and queens.
The first episode airs in the UK on 20 November 2017 and will look at Queen Victoria featuring a private life that will surprise you.
In Australia, where the series has already started to air on SBS, I believe they have kicked off with a very raunchy look at Charles II, known for good reason as The Merry Monarch.
The series is presented by Tracy Borman – a highly respected author, historian and curator of the Royal Palaces. It’s an enjoyable watch – I think – and your feedback on my on screen performances would be hugely appreciated.
A bizarre turn in the story of the gang in Mexico which unfortunately called itself the Knights Templar – or Caballeros Templarios. Mexican police have just raided one of their safehouses and discovered one hundred and twenty Roman helmets – though I have to say the picture suggests Greek hoplite headgear to me.
The drugs traffickers have – as I’ve posted before – a murderous record in the state of Michoacan and it appears they like dressing up for initiation ceremonies. Cloaks were also found on the premises.
My one small previous posting on this has generated a lot of views so responding to you the user – I’ll update you on this story. A drugs cartel in Mexico has renamed itself the Knights Templar. The reason – well, they are putting themselves around as defenders of the community and self-appointed enforcers of the law. At least a version of the ‘law’ they recognise, which normally involves shooting somebody up and leaving them to be discovered in a car.
La Familiar Michoacana is the cartel that has adopted the garb of the Templars. It is part of the Cartel del Golfo (Gulf Cartel) which dominates up to thirteen states in Mexico. That unfortunate country has been increasingly divided up between rival cartels so now resembles a patchwork of drug barons’ fiefdoms. The new Templars have been fighting another outfit called the Zetas in northern Mexico.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, these Templars are the main suppliers of methamphetamines to the US market for such narcotics. The Familia’s reputation was for extortion, kidnap and ranson demands and its version of law enforcement – including execution. The rebranding of the Familia was announced by banners hung up on road signs and even a school fence before being hastily removed by Mexican police. These banners appeared in the state capital Morelia as well as the towns of Zitacuaro and Apatzingan.
The Templar/Zeta confrontation has already had horrific results with four bodies discovered in the western state of Michoacan riddled with bullets and bearing signs saying that these new Templars had administered this sick form of justice. In the north east state of Nuevo Leon, a 17 year old youth was gunned down in front of his girlfriend for some or other reason. In Cuidad Juarez just a day ago, the owner of a burrito stand and his ten year old son died in a hail of gunfire.
The rebranding of the Familia as the Knights Templar seems to have been part of a process of strengthening a cartel that was seen to have got weaker. Why they picked the Templars is presumably because of the notion that the Templars were strong and uncompromising. True – but they didn’t deal in methamphetamines, shoot up innocent children or impose a self-interested reign of terror on entire communities. Therein lies a key difference!
There are different theories about the relationship between the Templars and ingesting cannabis. In the book “Green Gold: the Tree of Life, Marijuana in Magic and Religion”, it is conjectured that hashish came to Europe via the Templars as a result of their trading activities with the Ismailis in outremer.
The warriors of the Ismailis, who defended their faith against Sunni rulers, were the famous ‘Assassins’. These fearless killers struck at their enemies in such a way that their bravery was often ascribed to taking hashish and that was where their derived from. Hashishin = Assassin.
Not so says Amin Maalouf who says the word Assassin means ‘followers of the foundation’ and has nothing to do with ganja.
But Robert Anton Wilson in his book ‘Sex and Drugs’ recounts the familiar line that the courage of the Assassins must have been influenced by narcotics and that there is evidence the Templars partook of the wacky backy. At the very least to relieve pain.
One must mention the Sufis, the Islamic mystics often said to have influenced the Templars. They worshipped a Golden Head and the Templars worshipped the head of Baphoment and therefore, they were all off their heads. Dope produced that higher level of enlightenment that mead and ale was could never hope to.
I can only hope that when Jacques de Molay faced the fires outside Notre Dame in 1314, he did so with the benefit of several pints of Stella Artois and a big long spliff. How else to endure that public agony?