Do the Templars control the world today?

I meet and talk to people in very different situations who are convinced that the Knights Templar in some guise or other control the world. How do they come to this view?

A few months ago, I was talking to a young British Muslim and mentioned this blog. “Well, of course, they totally run the world, right?” I thought he was joking. He was university educated, very bright and well read. But no. He meant it. 100%.

Similarly, I’ve come across people who argue that Pope Francis, as a Jesuit, must be part of a Templar plot because the Jesuits are really secret Templars.

Let me run through some of the recent theories I’ve discovered online about Templars running the world:

Templars control us from Switzerland

  • Haven’t you ever noticed how similar the Swiss and Templar flags are?
  • Swiss neutrality is not a result of loving peace but because they are too busy orchestrating wars through which the Templars control us
  • Templars finance wars around the globe
  • The reason Swiss banking is secret is to hide the Templars controlling it

Templars control us from London

  • The US is still controlled from London
  • Behind the British monarchy and the City of London is the “Crown”, the Crown Templar
  • It is still based at the Temple church in the heart of London
  • That church is based in London’s legal district where the Templars have determined the Common Law system that governs the UK and US
  • King John and Magna Carta cemented this arrangement in place back in 1215

The Holy Grail has given them incredible power

  • Digging beneath the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, the Knights Templar found the Holy Grail and knowledge that gave them power over the church
  • This power ultimately posed such a grave threat to medieval Europe that kings and popes united to overthrow them
  • But they continue to exercise power as they still possess the Grail
  • Successive attempts to wrest the Grail from their control by the church and Freemasons have failed

The Freemasons possess Templar knowledge

  • Hiram, king of Tyre, built Solomon’s Temple in ancient times but was murdered when he refused to divulge Masonic secrets
  • The Templars discovered that knowledge when they occupied Solomon’s Temple
  • They transmitted that knowledge to the Freemasons who emerged openly in the 18th century

Templars and the Illuminati – are the same thing

  • It’s a simple deductive syllogism that goes like this…
  • The Illuminati run the world
  • The Templars are the Illuminati
  • Therefore, the Templars run the world

Templars are trying to take over all faiths

  • The Templars were part of a centuries old conspiracy to dominate the world
  • They came from elite aristocratic families
  • They deliberately questioned the divinity of Christ to more easily merge Christianity with Islam and Judaism
  • Vatican Two in the 1960s was a continuation of that plot
  • The Jesuits are an arm of the Templars and Pope Francis is acting under their orders

The Templars are trying to set up a One World Government

  • And here is a film on that theory
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Vatican butler and papal intrigues

English: Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Squa...
English: Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square, Rome (2007). Polski: Papież Benedykt XVI podczas Audiencji Generalnej na Placu św. Piotra w Rzymie (2007). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paolo Gabriele has been very swiftly convicted of leaking sensitive documents, which he gained access to as the butler to Pope Benedict XVI. The trial has thrown up some unwelcome details about how the Vatican operates – especially the existence of a very cramped prison within its walls. Gabriele claimed his cell was so small that he couldn’t extend his arms – his light was also kept on 24 hours for days on end.

Gabriele has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment within the Vatican – though a papal pardon is expected. The butler claimed he stole and photocopied the documents to counter corruption he saw within the church. Needless to say the Catholic hierarchy has accused him of a serious breach of confidence. The media, meanwhile, suspects that Gabriele did not act on his own. The scale of what he did suggests the involvement of others.

In the background is a less than decorous jockeying for position among cardinals eager to succeed the old pope when he dies. Some see Gabriele as part of a wider plot as a struggle for the succession brews. The butler handed the documents he took to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi who brought out a book on the back of what he read. What emerges is a small city state seething with intrigue and the man most hated is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone – the Vatican Secretary of State. He may have been the target of whatever has been going on here.

When the sentence of 18 months imprisonment was read out – it began with the words: “In the name of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who reigns in glory, and invoking the Holy Trinity.” To us, of course, this seems very strange. But go back to the medieval period and church courts would have been commonplace. Church prisons certainly existed. Gabriele should count himself lucky that church torture and death sentences are not used these days.

 

 

King Solomon’s Ring

English: Solomon Dedicates the Temple at Jerus...

My favorite programme Legend Quest went in search of King Solomon’s Ring this week – fronted as ever by the hyper-active Ashley Cowie, self-styled ‘archaeological explorer’. Off he went to find this biblical ring that can give its owner superhuman powers. And his quest started in Jerusalem.

“Just by slipping the ring on your finger…” you become all powerful, he explained.

The archangel Michael gave Solomon the ring with the star of David engraved on it, giving him the power to enslave demons and the king forced them to build the Temple of Jerusalem. But one demon stole the ring and cast it into the sea where it was eaten by a fish. Solomon was reduced from king to pauper but fortunately….managed to buy a fish to eat. Guess what? There was the ring. And off he went – back to rule Israel.

Ashley goes to Jerusalem to see the new excavations of Solomon’s walls but – unfortunately – he can’t go down because it’s an active dig. Bit of an anti-climax. So Ashley makes do with a stroll down the Via Dolorosa. And he sniffs out a local antique dealer who can show him another way to get within Solomon’s ruined temple wals. He goes to see said dealer and Ashley is taken to a back room where ‘they can speak in private’.  The dealer knows of a secret entrance to Solomon’s destroyed Temple!

Sure enough, the dealer takes them to an entry to some underground passages ‘outside the city walls’. It could the be way up into Solomon’s Temple and his ring would certainly be hidden there – explains Ashley. But unfortunately, their clambering inside these dark passages leads to a dead end. Kinga – the programme field producer – opines that it’s clearly an obstacle built to keep ‘something’ in and keep people out.

Next, Ashley storms off down a rainy motorway to Tel Meggido – the supposed location for Armageddon. The End of Days battle! Ashley looks for clues of Solomon’s presence in the ruins of the hilltop settlement but there’s no signs.  A smirking local archaeologist tells Ashley and Kinga that she’s seen nothing – though adds cryptically that ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of an absence’.

It then transpires that the people who originally lived in Tel Megiddo drifted at some point from the hilltop down into the valley. That’s where you might find clues, the archaeologist tells Ashley. Trouble is – there’s a maximum security Israeli prison on top of that later site now. But that doesn’t deter the intrepid Mr Cowie. Inside the prison they have excavated a ‘prayer hall’ – with a mosaic. However – little snag – it’s a Christian church. And the mosaic has been covered in sand. Take the sand away – Ashley demands. The prison guide refuses. But he offers Ashley some photographs taken before the preserving sand was laid down.

There are two fishes in the mosaic – hmmm…why is that?  Ashley concludes that one fish represents Jesus and the other….get ready for this….is the fish that ate Solomon’s ring!!! Of course – it’s blindingly obvious.

This clue convinces Ashley that the Christians nabbed the ring.  So where would it be now? Rome – naturally! The centre of all Christianity. Flight to Italy. Now Ashley and Kinga are in Rome. They find a church with a mosaic of fish and loaves above the door – and also a circle with the letter ‘P’ at the centre.  The circle is like a wagon wheel that on closer inspection combines Greek letters that spell the word fish.

So – here’s what he concludes: Fish ate ring – fish turns up on mosaic – Christians stole ring – fish appears on church in Rome = pope must have ring!

Ashley stands in front of St Peter‘s and interviews an expert who is remarkably indecisive to my thinking but Mr Cowie reads something between the lines and concludes that what he needs is a helicopter – which Kinga is ordered to find. The resourceful producer finds one. And she has also managed to get permission to fly over the ‘restricted airspace’ of the Vatican. What does he find? A ‘wagon wheel’ design painted on the ground in St Peter’s Square (did they really need a helicopter to see that??).

The evidence is overwhelming.  Fish – ring – Christians – Pope – it’s somewhere in the secret archives. Why would the pope have it? Because he has it ‘ready to do battle with evil in the final days’.

Voila!

Vatican scandal – a history of papal skullduggery

Jean-Paul Laurens, Le Pape Formose et Étienne ...

Pope Alexander VI played an important role in ...

Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044; 1045; 1047–1048) ...

The Vatican is currently mired in another scandal which could easily be nicknamed – what the butler saw! But if Benedict XVI is feeling he’s surrounded by unfair allegations of corruption at the Holy See, he could always take comfort that the Vatican has survived far worse.

The Borgias ran St Peters like a family enterprise at the end of the fifteenth century. Alexander VI was the most infamous Borgia, the nephew of a preceding pope, Callixtus III.  Alexander was alleged by the lawyer Stefano Infessura to have bought the papacy with mule loads of silver and his claim to have gained a two thirds majority is highly suspect. Needless to say, Alexander had several children who he brazenly installed in major ecclesiastical positions – most notably, Cesare Borgia. His daughter, Lucrezia, was married off to a nobleman but reputed to have an incestuous relationship with her father. She was also claimed to be an adept poisoner.

When the empire of Charlemagne was slowly imploding in the ninth century, the Holy See fell to the cardinal of Porto – Formosus. He was accused in his lifetime of various acts of church corruption but may have fallen victim to the power politics of the time, in which he was an active participant. After his death, his opponents decided that the small matter of not being alive should be no barrier to being put on trial. And so his corpse was exhumed, dressed in papal vestments and interrogated at the so-called Cadaver Synod. Formosus was found guilty of all charges, stripped of the aforementioned vestments, his fingers cut off to stop any benedictions from the grave and his body was tossed into the Tiber.

The following century saw the pontificate of John XII who really was a lively character. Celebrating mass without bothering to take communion was small beer compared to his other sins. He was reputed to have turned the Lateran Palace into a brothel and to have ordained a ten year old as a bishop. Blinding and castrating his enemies and toasting the devil – there was nothing John wasn’t capable of! He eventually died after suffering “paralysis” while in bed with a lady.

In 1032, the Count of Tusculum installed his own son as pope – never mind that he was barely 12 years old! Benedict IX went on to hold the papacy three times before his death at 43 years of age. His second term as pope ended when he decided to sell the office to his godfather! He then changed his mind and came back, seizing the papacy for one last time.

Another pope who took cash for religious positions – the crime of ‘simony’ – was Boniface VIII, the pope much lampooned by Dante in his book, the Divine Comedy.

In my own lifetime, I remember when the former head of the Banco Ambrosiano – a bank strongly linked to the Vatican – was found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in my home town of London. This was back in 1982. Roberto Calvi was dubbed ‘God’s Banker’ and while his death was supposed to look like suicide, it didn’t escape the attention of many that the secretive P2 masonic lodge that dominated Italy’s elite at that time was known as the ‘frati neri’ – or black friars!

The death of John Paul I after only 33 days as pope in 1978 is now a largely forgotten papal scandal – but at the time, the conspiracy theories flew around like a blizzard. There’s even a story element in the movie Godfather III that alludes to the mysterious nature of his demise. Suffice to say that the Vatican did nothing to dampen the speculation by its hopeless handling of the story.

Saints removed by the Catholic Church

Westminster_Psalter_St_ChristopherMany of the saints revered during the era of the Knights Templar (12th and 13th centuries) were removed from the liturgical calendar in the sweeping reforms of the Catholic Church in the 1960s.  Up to 40 saints were no longer to have their own saints days.  Now some argue on the web that this doesn’t mean they have been de-sainted but they’re certainly not encouraged.

The most prolific of these saints who’ve had their halos taken away is Saint Christopher.  Like many of the great medieval saints, he had been martyred under one of the later Roman emperors.  In this case, different accounts of his life indicate he died either under the Emperor Decius or the Emperor Maximinus Daia.   The familiar story runs that Christopher was a giant from what’s now Lebanon – the biblical kingdom of Canaan.

The alternative versions of his life smack of later concoctions and additions but basically he went on a quest to find Jesus Christ during which he was tasked with helping people to cross a river – by carrying them.  One of those he carried was a child who was extremely heavy and the river was treacherous that day.  Christopher got to the other side and remarked on how heavy the child had been.  He then revealed that he was Christ and upon his shoulders was the world.  Then the child disappeared.  Unsurprisingly, Christopher became the patron saint of travelers.

800px-Hans_Memling_074Saint Ursula was another saint taken off the calendar.  She was a Romanised Briton and the daughter, in one account, of King Donaut of Dumnonia.  She was betrothed to be married to Conan Meriadoc, the pagan governor of Armorica – modern day Brittany.  Anyway, she didn’t want that being a good Christian but she had to set sail with eleven other virgins.  Then the accounts from various sources get massively mixed up.  Some say she was blown off course, went to see the Pope in Rome, helped fight off the Huns who were besieging the Roman city of Cologne and may have eventually ended up marrying a now Christian Conan.  A less happy version has her boat blown off course, ending up in Germany where she and her virgins were killed by the Huns.

Amusingly, the number of virgins over the centuries increased from eleven to eleven thousand!  And even as high as 70,000!!  Quite how they all fitted on the boat or boats is anybody’s guess.  Still, even if the story sounds totally far fetched, it inspired the founding of the Ursuline order of nuns and Christopher Columbus named a group of islands in the Caribbean after this saint and her followers – the Virgin Islands.  But all this was not enough to save her from the cull of saints initiated by Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

Another saint to get chopped was Saint Philomena.  Again martyred in the late Roman Empire. According to some church related sources, she was never a saint and the Vatican was merely clarifying the situation in the 1960s. Those who defend de-listing this martyr saint, point out there is no literary or archaeological evidence to prove her existence as a person let alone a saint. That strikes me as slightly unfair because I’m pretty sure you can say that about umpteen other saints.

A body was found in the Roman catacombs in 1802 with the inscription “Filumena” on the tomb. Her veneration took off pretty quickly and spread all over Italy and France. The problem was that this cult had never received official papal approval. And even though she was referred to as a “saint”, her miracles had never gone through the Vatican’s testing process. So she came off the books!

Saint Nicholas, the model for Santa Claus, also got the boot. Yo ho ho? No, no, no – responded the Vatican. He has been put into a kind of saintly limbo. With Nicholas, there wasn’t the formal exit that Philomena got but an instruction to Catholics from Rome that they had no obligation to honour his feast days. Defenders of Nicholas, especially the eastern Orthodox church, point out that the creation of saints went on for centuries in the early church without the procedures that Catholicism has imposed now. They see this retrospective de-canonisation of popular saints as quite ridiculous and unfair.

And Saint Barbara – a very popular medieval saint – was similarly struck off the liturgical calendar.  Though Barbara was allegedly martyred in the third century AD – therefore most likely under the Emperor Decius and his widespread persecution – she doesn’t pop up in Saint Jerome’s list of martyred saints just two hundred years later and the first mention of her that has been found is in the seventh century.

The story of her martyrdom follows a familiar pattern where ghastly things are done to her by the Romans and somehow she manages to survive.  Every morning, her prison cell was bathed in light and all her wounds disappeared.  Burning torches thrown at her extinguished at the touch of her skin.  Rather cruelly, her father volunteered to behead his own daughter as he didn’t approve of her Christian conversion.

The execution went ahead but on the way home he was struck by lightning.  This rather combustible conclusion to her father’s life led her to being venerated as a patron saint for anybody involved in explosives.  You think I’m making this up but believe me I’m not.  Miners, sappers, artillery – etc.  All prayed to Saint Barbara.  Her cult in England was huge and across Europe.  And I suppose her greatest memorial is the city of Santa Barbara in California – named by the Spanish who held her in high esteem.  But yet again – not good enough for the reformers of the 1960s and you won’t find her name in the liturgical calendar.

Benedict XVI removed twenty saints’ feast days in recent years though Rome is at pains to clarify that these saints have not had their halos confiscated – unlike those who fell victim to the 1960s reforms. They have simply been shunted to the side to make way for other saints in the liturgical calendar.

Were the Knights Templar really monks?

Templars burned at the stake.
Templars burned at the stake

The Knights Templar are routinely referred to as ‘warrior monks’.  But were the Templars really monks in the accepted sense.  In her book ‘The Templars – The Secret History Revealed’, well respected author Barbara Frale makes the point that strictly speaking, they were not.  Why?  Well – let’s start with one basic point – the Templars were never actually ordained as priests.

The knights went through some form of initiation and took the monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  But they did not have the powers of a priest to administer the holy sacraments.  A Templar knight could not give communion for example.  One reason for this was that priests were not allowed to go in to battle and kill – which obviously Templars did routinely.

Pope Innocent II (1130-1143) reigned during the early formative years of the Templar order.  He ruled that the Templars needed ordained chaplains who had received holy orders before joining a Templar house.  They could minister to the Templars’ religious needs but under no circumstances could they take to the field of battle.

Frale believes that by the early 1300s, the number of chaplains in Templar preceptories had collapsed.  Given that under the Rule set down by Bernard of Clairvaux, the Templars had to pray nine times a day – they must have had trouble guaranteeing the presence of a chaplain to minister to their needs.  It was Bernard who said the Templars had to be “meek as lambs and, at the same time, as ferocious as lions”.  They were supposed to be intensely prayerful but also ready to raise their sword high and slay the Saracen.

Meek monks and courageous warriors but not properly ordained.  Little wonder that some in the church did not regard them as part of the club and even a little suspect.