The Fall of the Templars
The Knights Templar's enormous wealth and influence brought them into growing opposition to the Church and worldly monarchs/rulers. Phillipe le Bel, King of France, was one monarch of many who was heavily indebted to the Order and, when he was a young man, his application to join the Order had been refused. Thus, he was filled with resentment and was looking for a reason to destroy the Order to get hold of its wealth.
From the Roman Church's point of view, the Templars represented a most dangerous threat, that of by-passing the Church and praying directly to God without the need of the church as intermediary.
The Knights Templar were accused by King Phillipe and the Pope of the heinous crimes of denying Christ, ritual murder and of worshipping a bearded head called Baphomet. While under torture, many Templars confessed to this practice although they appeared confused as to whether the head was encased in silver or gold, and whether it was clean-shaven or bearded. This adoration of a skull or bearded head is more than likely to be an inquisitorial distortion of the mediaeval practice of worshipping images of Christ and relics or skulls of saints. For example, John the Baptist is often portrayed as a bloody head carried on a platter.
In actuality, the Templars believed in the Gnosis, that a particle of the Divine Mind lay within the head of each person. This theory stated that by 'reason' as well as by 'faith' individuals might partake in the ultimate wisdom. That all seekers, regardless of their religious persuasion, shared a belief in a single creative Intelligence, the Architect of the Universe, 'All That Was, and Is, and Will Be.' The Templars did not worship a skull, but the Divine Light that is within each of us.
Finally, in 1307 on Friday, October 13th, Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars and sixty of his Knights were imprisoned in Paris. Thousands of others were arrested simultaneously throughout Europe, only a few would escape. Their properties were confiscated by order of King Philip IV and Pope Clement V. Although this was meant to be a secret coup, the immense treasure Phillip was looking for, was not to be found. All documents, spiritual and worldly treasures, as well as the Templars fleet in the harbour of La Rochelle had disappeared.
Most imprisoned Knights Templar were burned alive after their torturers had forced them to admit idol worship and other ludicrous and hideous heresies. The Roman Church's Inquisition had perfected its dreaded and evil art of torture during the campaign against the Cathars. People are prone to admit anything just to stop being tortured. However, as they were about to be burned, many of the Knights Templar recanted their earlier confessions.
Nine million people became victims of the Inquisition, thus losing their lives in many dreadful ways. The mediaeval Christian Church was the most intolerant and repressive authority ever experienced in Europe. Many true mystics were persecuted and excommunicated, as their personal contact to God was indicating that the Church's statement, being the only mediator between God and people, was a lie. Spiritual organisations, heirs of the Knights Templar, had to go "under cover" in order to safeguard their existence.
In 1312 the pope officially dissolved the Knights Templar Order. In 1314, after Jacques de Molay was burned alive, it seemed that the Knights Templar had ceased to exist, yet the Order continued in other countries under various names. In Portugal the Order was renamed and became the Order of Christ. Vasco da Gama was a member of this group and Columbus was married to a Templar's daughter, thus giving Columbus insight into sea maps and logbooks belonging to the Order. Actually, he crossed the Atlantic under a flag showing the eight pointed cross of the brotherhood. In Germany, Knights Templars either joined the Hospitallers or the Teutonic Knights.
However, Scotland, at war with England, was the only country where the pope's edict, annulling the Order of the Knights Templar, never was publicised. The Pope had backed King Edward of England's claim to the Scottish crown and had excommunicated Scotland as punishment when they refused to accept Edward.
Thus, many Knights Templar from England and from Europe took refuge in Scotland and fought side by side with Robert the Bruce, the Scottish King, in 1314 at the battle of Bannockburn. They made all the difference to the outcome of the battle where the English army comprised of 100,000 highly trained soldiers were battling against 8,000 Scots and several hundred Knights Templar, including Henry St. Clair, Baron of Rosslyn and his two sons. The Templars, with their spiritual and military skill, made the English flee the battlefield in disarray.
Hugues de Payens, one of the original founders of the Knights Templar, was married to a St. Clair/Sinclair. Thus there always has been a connection between the Knights Templar and the Sinclair family of Rosslyn, which is alleged to be the ancestral seat of the Knights Templar. Here, they also laid the foundation for two underground Gnostic groups, the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians.
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